Authors: Raj Singh a; Paul Marchant a; Steve Shimoda a; Marc A. Secretan b
a TechnipFMC Process Technology
b Suncor Energy
Source: Digital Refining, Nov-2020
For FCC operation, regenerator performance is a key factor in maximising unit economics. Regenerator performance is generally evaluated by uniformity of combustion, seen in the temperature profile, and strongly depends on good distribution of both air and spent catalyst. Both operating conditions and hardware configuration influence the air catalyst mixing and flow patterns within the regenerator.
Understanding the impact of hardware configuration on regenerator fluidised bed hydrodynamics is important for any potential design modification, optimisation, and troubleshooting. It is important to pre-evaluate the performance of the unit with planned design modifications to reduce any unforeseen risks before the implementation. TechnipFMC actively uses computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools for design validation and troubleshooting.
This article discusses an FCC regenerator revamp at the Suncor Edmonton refinery, aimed to incorporate advanced design features to mitigate operational challenges and improve the mechanical reliability of the internals. This article describes how CFD modelling tools were used to confirm the adequacy of the proposed hardware changes, fine-tune the design, and evaluate the performance to minimise risks on start-up. Post-turnaround performance of the unit confirms the benefit of the implemented design.