Automation of Separation for More Bottom of the Barrel Return

Presented By


Conference: Rio de Janiero 2014

Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) is one of the most versatile and profitable upgrading processes in a refinery. FCC has maintained its place in the refinery through a series of evolutionary changes to meet changing demands. Online data has become one of the quickest improvements to decrease your losses and increase the bottom line.

One of the products, FCC Slurry Oil at about a 4-5% yield, is the lowest value product from the unit. However with proper management of the SLO concentration and contamination downstream using on line Particle Sensors quickly it becomes a value add stream. It is a highly aromatic, low API material containing FCC catalyst.

Because of the catalyst content and high aromaticity, possible environmental restrictions make easy disposal of sludge from settling tanks expensive and processing the catalyst laden slurry can cause severe erosion of refinery equipment. Catalyst recovery in a Texas refinery shows a 6% increase from the use of separation and recovery of lost catalyst. Possible product uses for slurry oil include fuel oil blending, carbon black and needle coke feedstock, and upgrading to lighter fuels.

This paper details the use of the Particle Sensors to provide PSD and concentration of Main Column Bottoms with the use of an Electrostatic Separator as a means to reduce catalyst fines in slurry oil in order to make specialty product feedstocks, higher value fuels and blend stocks, and to increase value add to the refinery by reducing catalyst loss through automation.

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