The game of refining is making sure the right molecules end up in the right conversion unit to maximize the value of every hydrocarbon processed. To that end, the solvent deasphalter [de-asphalter] (SDA) unit is a deceptively simple process that effectively makes the split between a relatively light product, deasphalted oil (DAO), and a heavy product, pitch.
The ‘clean’ DAO can then be sent to a high value conversion unit like a Fluid Catalytic Cracker Unit (FCCU) or Hydrocracking Unit (HDCU). The heavier pitch can be sold into the asphalt market, blended into fuel oil, or converted in a coker.
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