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RE: Chevron Unveils New Refining Technology That Converts Ultra-Heavy Oil Into Clean-Burning Fuel

Home Forums Coking News: DCU, Upgrader 1.Coker (registered users only) Chevron Unveils New Refining Technology That Converts Ultra-Heavy Oil Into Clean-Burning Fuel RE: Chevron Unveils New Refining Technology That Converts Ultra-Heavy Oil Into Clean-Burning Fuel


Charles Randall

Ok – it is time for Chevron & support folks to stop drinking thier own koolaide on this Vacuum Resid Slurry Hydrocracking (VRSH) process! Things are drifting from partial fiction into fantasy land.
The first question answers on news article = this IS a hydrocracker but it will work alongside FCC/Hydrocracker/Coker and PDA as well and it could also replace some of these units.
The third post  = no coke yield is making that crossing over to La La land and I have to cry bullshit. (I can appreciate that Chevron is proud of their new technology and it is good step for thier technology group but this process isnt that new or unique and it certainly cannot live up to the hype of no coke yield and 100% conversion to higher value product).
The process seems to be very similar to the ENI’s EST (ENI Slurry Technology) that is also a Resid Hydrocracking Process that is paired with PDA unit to make sure all FCC Gasoil has minimum asphaltenes in the DAGO going to it.  Basically both technologies use higher concentration of more active catalysts than older Resid Hydrocrackers to do the conversion. And lot of the miss-statements about yield come from earlier ENI version that are used for the CVX process. When you look at the process balance it is drawing circle around intermediates going to downstream units and comparing it to coker that has already rejected carbon in form of coke (hence 80% vs 100-110% comparison) – it completely overlooks the additional coke that will be made and burned in FCC regenerator or Hydrocracker and that is why balance is on intermediates instead of finished refinery products.
The ENI – EST process put its pre-commercial plant in 2005 (similar to 3.5 MBD pre-commercial unit that CVX is going put at Pascagoula) – so you can fast forward what is going on by looking at some ENI results.  It is good alternate process (like Visbreakers, Resid FCC/Hydrocrackers, ect) but definitely not great substitute for a coker nor will be earth changing event that previous coking news has indicated (see 6/28/07, 7/21/07 & 2/15/08 news items) and I think it is big mistake to hold up the Pascagoula coker expansion waiting on this pilot plants results.
But lot smart people at CVX and they have their own viewpoints.
But the balance point needs to be one of both energy & finished products not this missleading inside loop around intermediates to serve PR purposes. 
Because the basics are this –  if you want to increase the API of a material you can either add Hydrogen or remove Carbon. Adding Hydrogen only yields a minor API increase and the most complex fractions like asphaltenes will make carbon in the process designed to break / fracture molecules – if they are not removed as Fuel Oil or Asphalt <Both lower value material than charge material’s products they are talking about here> then they will form on/in the furnace, towers, and various expensive catalysts during the process instead of in a coke drum. And outside of a drum they will decrease the reactivity of the catalysts and reduce yield of products &/or reduce heater/exchanger efficiencies. 

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