September 2012

Special Report: Refining Developments

Maximize diesel production in an FCC-centered refinery, Part 1

For refineries with an FCC unit as the main conversion vehicle, the debate is how existing refinery assets can best be used to economically increase diesel production.

Global product trends favor increasing production of diesel over gasoline (Fig. 1).1 Consequently, many new refineries have utilized hydrocracking, rather than fluid catalytic cracking (FCC), as the main conversion unit due to the hydrocracker’s higher diesel yield and superior diesel quality.     Fig. 1. Projected gasoline and diesel   demand to 2025. For refineries that have already invested in an FCC unit as the main conversion vehicle, the question becomes, “How can existing refinery assets be used to economically increase diesel production?” The question is challenging because light cycle oil (LCO) from FCC operations has limited value as

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