Authors: Benjamin Amblard a, Raj Singh b, Eusebius Gbordzoe b, and Ludovic Raynal a
a IFP Energies nouvelles, France
b Technip Stone & Webster Process Technology, Houston, United States
Source: Amblard, B.; Singh, R.; Gbordzoe, E.; Raynal, L. CFD Modeling of the Coke Combustion in an Industrial FCC Regenerator. Chemical Engineering Science2016.
Abstract: Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) is one of the most important conversion processes used in refineries all over the world. It is used for the conversion of heavy oil feed with high boiling temperature to produce gasoline, diesel, propylene and other valuable products. Coke deposits on the catalyst during the catalytic conversion and deactivates it, therefore catalyst is continuously regenerated in the FCC process. The regeneration step is essential as it directly impacts the products yields. The coke combustion also generates NOx and SOx emissions which levels are highly influenced by the bed hydrodynamics, the operation parameters and the reactor configuration, and are important to quantify. For all these reasons, the understanding of the regenerator hydrodynamic and kinetic is essential.
This paper presents a study on the coupling of Barracuda™ CFD code with a coke combustion kinetic model developed at IFP Energies nouvelles to simulate an industrial FCC regenerator. Regenerator operating and performance data, including catalyst samples for coke analysis, are acquired on a selected industrial unit to evaluate the model. The results provide useful insight on the regenerator performance characteristics in terms of air distribution, coke burning rate and temperature profile in the regenerator. The steady state flue gas composition and regenerator dense and dilute phase temperatures are well predicted by the CFD simulation. The CFD prediction of the bed density is underestimated compared to the industrial data. The duration required to completely regenerate the catalyst is also estimated from the results. The CFD coupled coke combustion kinetic model presented in this paper enables us to evaluate the influence of the fluidized bed hydrodynamic on the catalyst regeneration in an industrial FCC regenerator. The developed model serves as a useful tool for the evaluation of future technology development in the FCC regenerator.