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Strategies for Managing Contaminant Metals in the FCC Unit

Presented By

Rebecca Kuo - BASF


Oil Quality Variability - BASFFluidized Catalytic Cracking (FCC) units are capable of processing a wide range of feedstocks, so refiners around the world capitalize on this flexibility to maximize profit in the refinery. Residue-containing feeds (i.e. resid feeds) have become more prevalent in the FCC industry, but these feeds typically come with high levels of metal contaminants such as nickel, vanadium, and iron. Such contaminants catalyze various undesirable secondary reactions in the unit, poisoning the FCC catalyst and lowering profit. For example, nickel catalyzes dehydrogenation reactions, which can overload an already-constrained wet gas compressor and increased coke yield. Vanadium, especially in the presence of Na, can lead to zeolite destruction and a loss of catalyst activity. In addition, very high levels of iron can obstruct surface porosity, hindering the diffusion of feed molecules into the catalyst pores and lowering conversion. In order to prevent conversion loss and achieve the most optimal yield slate, refiners should properly manage these and other contaminants. This presentation will cover the impacts of various feed contaminants that are prevalent in heavier resid feeds and various strategies to combat the harmful effects of the contaminant metals.

Rebecca has been in the BASF FCC technical service team for 3 years, where she provides catalyst and operational technical support to refining customers. Prior to joining the technical service team, Rebecca worked for BASF in various engineering roles and businesses, including production and project engineering for the FCC catalyst manufacturing group.  She holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

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