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InFocus™ Online Lube Optimization Model was used to analyze the effect of raising pour point on catalyst yield and life

Situation: A major North American base oil producer has 2 production units. One of the units consists of a Lube Hydrotreater/Hydrocracker (HDT/HDC) and is integrated with a hydrodewaxing unit using ExxonMobil's proprietary MSDW™ dewaxing catalyst technology. The current production rate of this unit is 20 KBD.

Challenge: The refiner has a base oil pour point specification at -15°C; however, in order to ensure that product consistently meets specification, the operator is controlling pour point at an average of -18°C. The operator wanted to understand the potential yield improvement of the 20KBD unit if the pour point was modified from -18°C to -15°C.

Solution: ExxonMobil's InFocus™ Online Lube Optimization Model includes lube hydrocracker (LHDC) and MSDW™ dewaxing technology modules, which can be run independently or linked. Each module predicts process performance, product yields and qualities based on key operating variables such as average reactor temperature, space velocity, pressure, product fractionation cut point and separation efficiency.

In this scenario, the InFocus Online Lube Optimization Model calculated potential improvements in yield, energy consumption and catalyst life. The ultimate decision was made by the operator based on information provided in the model.

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