Today’s refiners are challenged by more stringent fuel specifications, emissions controls and the need to process the lowest cost feedstocks available. To overcome these challenges, significant investment in hydroprocessing capabilities is required, either through debottlenecking of existing units or via new unit construction. Refiners must meet specific targets for long-term return on capital and product quality from cost advantaged feedstocks for this investment to be attractive. Elessent™ IsoTherming® hydroprocessing technology is a commercially proven, robust, breakthrough technology that allows refiners to meet their hydroprocessing objectives. This efficient technology is proven to reduce operating costs and requires less equipment than conventional technologies.
The heat capacity of the total reactor feed (fresh feed plus liquid recycle) is considerably greater than that of the combined raw feed and the hydrogen recycle stream in conventional hydroprocessing technology. As a result, the temperature rise across the reactor bed is considerably less than with a conventional design. This lower temperature rise eliminates the need for inter-bed cooling and the additional complexity it brings to the reactor operation and design.
Furthermore, the single liquid phase configuration helps ensure even flow distribution throughout the catalyst beds. This is in contrast to trickle bed reactors where distribution of the gas and liquid across the catalyst bed relies primarily on more complex internals and catalyst grading.
For particularly severe services, such as mild hydrocracking, the lower temperature rise minimizes undesirable side reactions and increases yield of desired products over a conventional counterpart. In addition, the lower temperature rise results in lower coking rates and therefore longer catalyst life. One application that illustrates the unique advantage IsoTherming® hydroprocessing technology brings to the marketplace is upgrading FCC Light Cycle Oil (LCO).
A niche market has developed for hydrotreating LCO; where a product typically destined for fuel oil is converted to a more profitable, low-sulfur (50 ppm) or ultra-low sulfur diesel product (10 ppm sulfur or less).
Petroleum refiners will continue to require additional hydroprocessing capacity to meet increasingly rigorous fuel requirements. Elessent™ IsoTherming® hydroprocessing technology can be utilized in grassroots and revamp applications to provide the refiner a robust and efficient hydroprocessing system to meet particular objectives. Backed by commercial scale success in a number of ULSD units, including the production of ULSD from LCO, IsoTherming® hydroprocessing technology provides the petroleum refiner a cost-effective solution to meet product conversion and fuel sulfur specifications in an increasingly competitive and demanding environment.