June 2016

Catalysts

Catalyst replacement strategy for a hydrocracking unit at a Middle East refinery

A Saudi Aramco refinery operates a series-flow, single-stage hydrocracking unit (HU) in a recycle high-conversion mode. The HU has been in operation for over 35 years and is being debottlenecked to increase its throughput by 20%.

A Saudi Aramco refinery operates a series-flow, single-stage hydrocracking unit (HU) in a recycle high-conversion mode. The HU has been in operation for over 35 years and is being debottlenecked to increase its throughput by 20%. The debottlenecking will use existing reactors that have multiple disbonding issues, thereby limiting the temperature envelope of operation. This article explores the process of optimizing the catalyst reload requirements to achieve stringent product quality at a higher throughput, while meeting the cycle length at the optimal cost. Based on present operations and product analytical data, the study also discusses how the new catalyst loading strategy was developed t

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