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Utilization of FCC E-Cat Flushing to Control Metal Contamination and/or in Emergency Situations Caused by Cyclone Failure

Presented By

Florin Enache - Petrotel Lukoil


Utilization of FCC E-Cat Flushing to Control Metal ContaminationProcessing a heavy, non-hydrotreated feed in FCC units 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 the metals content of all crude oil types processed by refinery were analyzed, as were the Ni and V distribution on the refinery flows and the effects of metal contamination on FCC conversion and product yields.

Based on the data collected, the refinery decided to select a more metal-resistant fresh catalyst and to adapt 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 consisted in the reduction of  Ni and V content with 2400 ppm, the economic efficiency being 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.

Florin Enache, Petrotel-Lukoil RefineryFlorin Enache is a Principal Process Engineer with Petrotel-Lukoil Refinery. Florin has been with Petrotel-Lukoil since 2004 and has held the following positions: FCC Process Engineer, Head of Research & Development Department, Shift Coordinator Engineer for Refinery Utilities, and Environmental Protection and Project Manager for some of the investment projects implemented in the refinery.

Florin holds two Master’s degrees– “Management in Petroleum Industry” and “Advanced Technologies in Environmental Engineering”– from the Petroleum and Gas University of Ploiesti, Romania. He earned two Bachelor’s Degrees– one in “Chemical Engineering, Specialization Petroleum Processing and Petrochemistry” from Petroleum and Gas University of Ploiesti, and also in “Biochemistry” from University of Bucharest, Romania.

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