You are currently viewing: Literature



Residue upgrading using ebullated-bed hydrocracking

Dealing more effectively with the bottom of the barrel is high on the refining industry’s agenda for the following reasons. Crude oil feedstocks are becoming heavier, which is making lighter crudes more expensive. Environmental pressures are undermining the market for heavy fuel oil. In addition, the demand for clean transportation fuels is growing, with countries such as China and India taking the lead.

Ebullated-bed residue hydrocracking is a well-proven technology that creates value from even the most challenging residue feeds.  The process is offered by two licensors. There are currently 14-ebullated-bed residue hydrocracking units in operation around the world with a total capacity in excess of 0.6 MMbbl/d. In the next five years, several additional H-OilRC units will come on-stream and raise the total processing capacity to more than 0.8 MMbbl/d. Of the 14 units in operation, 9 use customised catalysts from Criterion Catalysts & Technologies.

Significantly, no two of the Criterion-supplied ebullated bed residue hydrocracking units are alike: feedstocks, product slates, the disposition of the products and the unconverted bottoms vary considerably. Customised catalysts are the key to successful operations. Criterion’s catalyst development programme consequently plays a huge role in optimising the performance of these units.

PROCESS CHALLENGES
Ebullated-bed residue hydrocracking units are favoured by operators seeking high conversion (up to 85% 524°C+) of very refractive vacuum residue feeds with high metal contents and Conradson carbon residue (CCR) values. The ability of the technology to process difficult feeds such as bitumen effectively at high conversion levels is largely due to the fact that catalyst can be replaced online during operation. Typically, a small percentage of the catalyst is replaced on a daily basis. Cost is obviously a major consideration on this basis, which means that catalyst stability is a very important parameter.

Unit operability is strongly affected by any sediment produced in the process. Sediment often causes severe fouling of the reactor and major downstream equipment such as separators, product filters, heaters, fractionators and heat exchangers. It can also affect the quality of any products that include unconverted bottom streams. For these reasons, sediment control is an important catalyst feature. In addition, the process may sometimes be constrained by the operating temperature, which calls for catalysts with high activity.

View More

Dual-service hydrocracking

High-quality middle distillate products from partial conversion of heavy oil fractions and difficult feedstocks.Hydrocracking is an established and reliable method for transforming low-value heavy oil fractions into products with a higher value. Shell Global Solutions’ dual-service hydrocracking ...


Hydrotreating

Advanced process and catalyst systems to help optimize unit performance and maximize cycle length
Hydrotreating is an established refinery process for reducing sulphur, nitrogen and aromatics while enhancing cetane number, density and smoke point. Shell Global Solutions’ hydrotreating process ...


Reactor Internals

State-of-the-art hardware to help optimize catalyst utilization, maximize cycle length and increase process safety.
The performance of hydroprocessing reactors is determined not only by the catalyst loaded but also by the design of their internals. Shell Global Solutions’ internals technology ...


Shell sulphur technology platform

Consultancy and technologies to help take control of the sulphur paradox.
The reduced availability of light and sweet crudes, and the consequential increase in the cost of such feedstocks, makes it more and more attractive for refiners to take in heavier and sourer feeds. However, there are consequences. ...


Gas/liquid treating and sulphur processes

Helping oil and gas operators meet emission limits. Operators in the oil and gas industries face tough challenges in removing contaminants from their products, reducing emissions and meeting specifications. Shell Global Solutions’ gas/liquid treating and sulphur processes are available for license ...


FCC – leading-edge technology for enhanced reliability and environmental performance

Refiners are under immense pressure to improve the performance of their fluidised catalytic cracking (FCC) units. At the same time, there are changing market demands and environmental issues to consider. Shell Global Solutions helps by selecting technology from an extensive line-up to devise process ...


Distillation and separation technologies

Improve performance and minimize expenditure. Refinery operators want to improve their distillation performance to optimise their assets, minimise their expenditure and capital investment, and debottleneck their operations. Through the licensing of bulk crude distillation units, high-vacuum units, work-up ...


Dewaxing technologies for distillate applications

Cold flow properties improvement process. Catalytic dewaxing is used to improve cold flow properties of diesel fuels by selective hydroisomerization and hydrocracking of normal and slightly branched-paraffins. Normal paraffins have the most detrimental effects on the low-temperature properties of diesel ...


Thermal conversion – converting the bottom of the barrel into higher-value products

Faced with falling demand for low-value products such as residue fuel oil, operators are seeking proven, cost-effective technologies to help increase the value of their residue streams by revamping and debottlenecking existing units. Shell Global Solutions’ thermal conversion processes enable refiners ...


Refining catalysts – market-leading, high performance hydroprocessing solutions

Increasingly stringent fuel and environmental regulations, heavier crudes and feedstocks, and soaring energy demand have created complex, and sometimes conflicting, challenges for refiners operating hydroprocessing units. In response, many refiners are building new licensed units or revamping their existing ...