December 2015

Special Report: Plant Design, Engineering and Construction

Improve FCC margins by processing more vacuum residue in feed

With the greater processing of heavy crude oils in refineries, the importance of fluid catalytic cracking units (FCCUs) has increased.

Shidhaye, H., Kukade, S., Kumar, P., Rao, P. V. C., Choudary, N. V., Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (HPCL)

With the greater processing of heavy crude oils in refineries, the importance of fluid catalytic cracking units (FCCUs) has increased. Metals content in heavy feeds is one of the limiting factors in FCCUs, as increased levels of metals lead to high coke and dry gas yields. Heavy feeds also have high sulfur contents, causing increased SOx emissions from the FCCU. However, processing heavy oil streams in FCCUs also leads to increased distillate yields and improved margins. One of Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd.’s (HPCL’s) refineries has a resid FCCU with a catalytic cooler designed to process feed with a vacuum residue (VR) content of 18 wt%, with feed Conradson carbon residue (CCR) up to 4.2

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