Improving FCC Economics through Computational Particle Fluid Dynamics Simulation

This paper describes many structural issues which are endemic to the FCC operation resulting in limitations in operational flexibility with subsequent negative impact on economics including items such as incomplete combustion of spent catalyst within the regenerator commonly referred to as the “salt and pepper” appearance of regenerated catalyst, erosion of reactor or regenerator hardware leading to unscheduled shutdowns or reduced cycle length, and poor aeration at the inlets of regenerated catalyst hoppers and along the length of the standpipes leading to poor fluidization and reduced catalyst circulation rates.

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The Experience of a Team of Experts to Resolve Severe FCC Regenerator Maldistribution

A prominent refinery located in the eastern half of North America recently formed a team of FCC experts with the goal of identifying the root cause and delivering a solution to an exceptionally challenging case of maldistribution within their FCC regenerator. The result was a measurable reduction in the maldistribution resulting in a more stable operation with lower NOx, CO and particulate emissions. This approach may be an excellent model for other refineries facing similar issues within their FCC units.

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