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RE: FCC Reactor cyclone inlet velocity

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Freddy Martinez

In your case, an economic driver to increase feed is working against the unit reliability, so you should work very hard to demonstrate the unit reliability is in jeopardy before being able to convince your managers to reduce the feed rate.
The main risk is to prematurely erode the cyclones, which will cause high catalyst losses on the reactor side, high catalyst content on the slurry and a possible plug off of the slurry circulation. Erosion could be an issue on the reactor overhead line elbows or main column feed nozzle so watch for erosion on them too and if the safety is in jeopardy recommends against the feed increase. However, tracking erosion on this hot line is not easy, there are some companies like SES or Capstone, that might know about how to do this.
Eventually a shut down might be required to repair the damage if the economics show that the catalyst losses are to high to maintain the operation.
Finally, my recommendation is to give it a try but closely monitor all variables, specially those related to safety issues.

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