June 2011

Special Report: Process/Plant Optimization

Improve energy efficiency for distillate hydrotreaters retrofit options

Energy conservation is a complex analysis on existing units, but benefits are possible

Milosevic, Z., Shire, T., KBC Process Technology Ltd.

Distillate hydrotreaters are large energy consumers. As more stringent sulfur specifications are introduced, refiners must increase energy usage for hydrotreating purposes. As much as 10% of a refinery’s total energy consumption is attributed to hydrotreating products. Furthermore, these units can be quite energy inefficient. This case study examines the economics of retrofitting distillate hydrotreaters options that can improve energy efficiency: 1) increasing the surface area of feed preheat exchangers, and 2) installing a hot separator. The study also addresses the economics of using alternative heat exchange techniques, such as twisted tubes, plate exchangers and printed circuit exc

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