Florin Enache - Petrotel Lukoil
Processing a heavy, non-hydrotreated feed in FCC Unit with high metals content can lead to contamination of FCC equilibrium catalyst with Ni and V.
Taking into consideration the negative impact given by metal contamination, Petrotel-Lukoil refinery started to evaluate and implement the most effective solutions in order to avoid FCC e-cat poisoning. Therefore it was analyzed the metal content of all crude oil types processed by the refinery, the Ni and V distribution on the refinery flows and the effects of metal contamination on FCC conversion and products yields.
Based on the data collected, the refinery decided to select a more metal resistant fresh catalyst and to adopt the fresh catalyst dosage rate at the level of metal contamination.
Since the refinery economics is important it was concluded that e-cat flushing is an efficient method to control the metal contamination. The industrial result consists in the reduction of Ni and V content with 2400 ppm, the economic efficiency is estimated at 1.7 million $.
The usage of low metal e-cat instead of fresh catalyst is also recommended in FCCU emergency situation caused by cyclones failure or plugging in order to balance the losses of equilibrium catalyst from FCC regenerator.
By applying the strategies presented above the refinery managed to control and maintain constant the level of metal contamination and to face the challenges which can appear in FCCU operation.