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  • A single integrated vacuum system

    Failure to design the vacuum unit as an integrated system will invariably result in unsatisfactory yield and poor product quality (high vanadium, nickel, microcarbon, or asphaltenes), and ultimately, an unscheduled shutdown. To avoid these revamp problems the charge pump, fired heater, transfer line, column internals and ejector system must all be evaluated and designed as a unified whole so that critical variables – heater outlet temperature, coil steam injection rate, ...

  • A time for grass roots thinking ?

    Within the past year or two spiking crude prices and surging refinery margins have led to overheated talk about increasing refinery capacity worldwide. Plans for construction of as many 60 grass roots refineries have been discussed. But stretched out lead times for major equipment and inflated prices, as well as declining margins and a final realization that there is not enough crude to meet demand, have brought sober thinking to the table. Recent societal changes in India and ...

  • About Axens

    Axens is a group providing a complete range of solutions for the conversion of oil and biomass to cleaner fuels, the production and purification of major petrochemical intermediates as well as all of natural gas' treatment and conversion options. The offer includes technologies, equipment, furnaces, modular units, catalysts, adsorbents and related services. Axens is ideally positioned to cover the entire value chain, from feasibility study to unit start-up and follow-up throughout ...

  • Avoid fired heater coking

    For many refiners, heater coking in Crude and Vacuum Distillation Units (CDU/VDUs) is a common occurrence. Many units around the world are shut down every two years, every year, or even every six months to deal with chronic heater coking. However, with the right design features driven by a solid understanding of heater coking mechanisms, fired heater run length can be extended beyond five years, even with relatively challenging crudes. The two primary drivers of heater tube ...

  • Avoid unnecessary costs by understanding process problems before taking action

    When a piece of process equipment starts experiencing problems and producing off-spec product, every engineer’s reaction is to make a change to “fix” the problem and get it back on-spec. yet, many plants lack adequate instrumentation to completely diagnose the cause of the poor performance. Without a more complete understanding of the root cause of the problem, “corrective action” could have little effect or make the problem worse. Gathering supplemental ...

  • Axens Connect’In™

    High speed data networks, cloud-based systems and advanced data techniques are leading a distinct change in the way industries monitor and optimize operating assets. Refineries that will adopt realtime unit monitoring tools incorporating on-demand, advanced modelling of process performance will see an immediate marketplace advantage. Axens’ Connect’In™ addresses these challenges and is leading the breakthrough to substantially improve the efficiency of refineries. ...

  • Axens engineering services revamping

    For a successful revamping project, no matter the degree of its complexity, and in accordance with your tight schedules, Axens is your unique contact during the phase preceding detailed engineering. Axens’ offer is based on our well founded expertise and several decades of experience. Our team of equipment specialists and our extensive network of detailed engineering contractors and equipment manufacturers complete this offer.   Our approach consists of successive ...

  • Axens hydrocracking

    Axens is an established name in hydrocracking licensing with more than 40 years’ experience in all types of hydrocracking processes. We have a large portfolio of hydroconversion processes, including fixed and ebullated-bed technologies. Our commercial units operate at low, medium and high conversion, and in once through, single-stage recycle and two-stage modes. Our commercial hydrocracker designs can cover a large variety of feedstocks varying from light HGO and LVGO ...

  • Axens overview

    Axens is a group providing a complete range of solutions for the conversion of oil and biomass to cleaner fuels, the production and purification of major petrochemical intermediates as well as all of natural gas' treatment and conversion options. The offer includes technologies, equipment, furnaces, modular units, catalysts, adsorbents and related services. Axens is ideally positioned to cover the entire value chain, from feasibility study to unit start-up and follow-up ...

  • Axens tech services

    Operating personnel are uncomfortable with changes affecting operations such as: process upsets, catalyst regeneration and replacement, changes in feedstock, modified product specifications, evolution of production goals and new operating staff. In coping with these changes, your resources - manpower, know-how and experience, are often strained. Axens’ Tech Service Agreements (TSAs) are attractive as they allow you to expand your qualified resources at regular intervals ...

  • Celebrating a century of innovation in the oil & gas industry

    UOP celebrates its 100th year in business in 2014, and in many ways our history is analogous to the development of the world’s oil and gas industry. We have accomplished many great things during the last century. For that, we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our customers, who helped us develop and commercialize our technologies. When our company was founded, there were fewer than 2 billion people in the world, and travel was dominated by horses and steam engines. ...

  • Condensate is crude

    Ultra-light crudes and condensates are here to stay. These streams have flooded the market in recent years, and many of them are deeply discounted against reference crudes. Refiners have been processing increasing percentages of this light material through their Crude Distillation Units (CDUs) up against unit naphtha handling limits. On the surface, processing condensate and other ultra-light crudes with high API gravity and low sulfur should be easy. In reality, many refiners ...

  • Designing deepcut vacuum units that really work

    Every barrel of vacuum gas oil (VGO) you can save from being reduced to coke in the delayed coker unit is a barrel more that can go to the FCCU. That’s a good reason to raise HVGO cutpoint. But how to do it? Some people think the job can be done just by running computer models in the engineering office, relying on vendors and their data sheets for a clue to true equipment performance. Experience, however, shows it just ain't so. For either a grass roots project or a revamp, ...

  • Equipment design matters

    Many attractive projects fail to meet expectations at startup. Disappointing performance often results from bad simulation practices and/or poor equipment design rather than faulty execution. Refineries are currently considering FCC revamps to increase olefins for more alky unit feed, maximize LCO product recovery, and minimize slurry product by producing HCO for hydrocracker feed. These changes raise fractionator operating temperature. Higher temperatures require better process ...

  • Fractional crystallization

    Crystallization is one of the most powerful purification methods available in process engineering. Fractional crystallization is a stagewise separation technique that relies upon liquid-solid phase transition and enables multicomponent mixtures to be split into narrow fractions, ultimately leading to top purities of selected components, through the virtue of selectivity found in solid liquid equilibria. Fractional crystallization is most frequently encountered in the separation ...

  • Making the invisible visible

    In FCC Units (Fluidised Catalyst Cracking Units) the atmospheric residue from the distillation is cracked to LPG, naptha and other components. This sometimes leads to “invisible” deposits inside the Riser. This article features Tracerco’s ThruVision™ scans to illustrate how the technology helped the refinery to identify these deposits at an early stage. Bayernoil operates two FCC Units to convert heavy hydrocarbons. In the FCC Unit the feed is injected ...

  • Maximize reliability in grassroots crude units

    Crude unit operators are far too familiar with a long list of crude unit reliability problems including fouling in heat exchangers and fired heaters, poor desalting, corrosion of piping and equipment, and coking in the vacuum column wash zone. Many millions of dollars have been spent fighting these problems, yet they continue to force unplanned shutdowns with depressing regularity. Revamps must address reliability issues, but project scope is hindered by the limitations of existing ...

  • Maximize the value of your naphtha feedstocks and downstream processes

    New solutions for changing needs Lighten the burden of heavy feedstocks with Topsoe catalysts, process designs and technologies. If your refinery is like most, you’re under pressure to squeeze more value out of heavier feedstocks, and this presents new challenges for catalysts. To name just one example, increasing use of coker feedstocks has led to higher silica and nitrogen levels in the naphtha streams, requiring catalysts with superior HDN activity and greater surface ...

  • Modern crude distillation, modularized

    Global interest in modular refinery construction is surging. Small modular refineries are attractive to investors for several important reasons: SPEED: Project time from contract execution to start-up can be as short as 18-24 months. LOGISTICAL ADVANTAGES:Modular refineries can be built in remote locations to realize efficiencies in supply and transportation of raw crude and refined products. LOW INITIAL COST: Small relative size makes initial capital cost more manageable. Modules ...

  • Moving gamma scanning forward – quantitative analysis of tray capacity

    Improving process operating margins can include maximising production of higher value products and/or minimising production costs. Process plants depend heavily on fractionation towers to produce products meeting customer specifications. Tower gamma scanning is well established in the process industries as a qualitative tool to help troubleshoot fractionation towers. Using new measurement detector technology and innovative analysis of gamma scanning data Tracerco is now able to ...

  • Myth of the 1000°F vacuum unit cutpoint

    Canadian Synbit and Dilbit crudes will come to make-up a substantial fraction of feedstocks to North American refineries. Today, however, for the most part refiners both north and south of the 40° parallel seem to be unaware of the extreme challenges this change will present. To run an oil sands crude in a vacuum unit designed for conventional heavy feedstocks and to expect a 1000°F cutpoint for a 5-6 year run is like believing in the Tooth Fairy. Bitumen based crudes ...

  • Nasty stuff

    Heavy crudes are here to stay. As longs as oil prices remain high, Canadian, Venezuelan, Deep Water Gulf of Mexico, Mexican and other low API gravity crude oils will play an ever more important role in supplying world refineries. And prices promise to remain high because gainsayers notwithstanding, Hubbert was right. A big question is how to handle best these nasty crudes? Do you revamp existing units or invest in new capacity? With refineries now running flat out, the balance ...

  • On budget, on time, offline

    Flawless project execution will not prevent a unit shutdown due to selecting the wrong metallurgy for a challenging crude slate. No matter how well it is fabricated and installed, a shell and tube exchanger with cold, high viscosity vacuum resid on the tube side will have poor heat transfer performance. On-time shipping and installation of a too-small desalter will not prevent crude column overhead corrosion if the centerline velocity is overly optimistic for the design crude. A ...

  • Opportunity knocks

    A group of interesting articles* deals with opportunity crudes, a mixed breed that includes very heavy, sour and high total acid number types as well as those with unexceptional naphthenic acid content but which do have significant concentrations of aliphatic acids or possess the ability to generate them during processing. They all sell at substantial discounts that give refiners who can process them the opportunity to reap higher profits. Hence their name. Note that phrase ...

  • Opportunity or Annoyance?

    Price differentials between conventional and opportunity crudes compel refiners to process increasing percentages of lower valued opportunity crude. However, as many refiners have learned the hard way, opportunity crudes are tied to unique processing challenges. Furthermore, existing crude unit configurations may limit high profit opportunity crude to a disappointingly small proportion of the total unit blend. Processing a changing slate of opportunity crudes of varying compositions ...

  • PackView™ - quantitative analysis of packing mal-distribution

    The last issue of Tracerco Insight (Vol 6 Ed 1) featured our patent pending FrothView™ technology illustrating how using Tracerco’s new measurement detector technology and analysis of gamma scan data provides quantitative information about the useful capacity of trayed towers. In this article you will learn how applying this technology to packed towers can determine the % liquid fraction providing a measure of the maximum useful capacity of the packing. Enhanced ...

  • Polymer production technology

    Sulzer Chemtech is the world‘s most renowned supplier of equipment and related solutions in the field of static mixing. The combination of engineering expertise and many years of application know-how enables Sulzer Chemtech to provide global solutions for improved polymer product quality. All Sulzer Chemtech products and services rely on a successful integration of three main competencies: • Static mixing know-how • Piloting & scale up • Process & ...

  • Process technology

    Sulzer Chemtech, a member of the Sulzer Corporation, with headquarters in Winterthur, Switzerland, is active in the field of process engineering, employing 3'000 persons worldwide. Sulzer Chemtech is represented in all important industrial countries setting standards in the fields of mass transfer and static mixing with its advanced and economical solutions. Sulzer Chemtech is organized into four business units, one of which is the Process Technology group. This business unit ...

  • Processing heavy Canadian crude

    Reducing crude oil cost is the major incentive driving crude and vacuum unit projects to handle heavy Canadian crudes. But such crudes–Albian Heavy, Christina Lake, MacKay River and others derived from oil sands–today present refiners with a unique set of problems not just because of extra-low API gravity, but also because of asphaltenes, vanadium and nickel, high solids content and extremely high viscosity vacuum residues. To process such crudes reliably over a 4-5 ...

  • ProTreat® mass transfer rate based simulation

    ProTreat - the only true mass and heat transfer rate-based simulator specifically for gas treating. ProTreat is the industry’s most advanced simulation tool for gas treating.  Because it is rigorously  mass-transfer  rate-based,  it  offers  the  ultimate in  accuracy,  reliability, and  truly predictive power. ProTreat offers  you unparalleled capabilities in design, plant optimization, and troubleshooting. A ProTreat ...

  • Slash your hydrogen production costs

    By utilizing low value, excess fuel gas, you can reduce your consumption of costly traditional hydrogen plant feedstocks, such as natural gas, LPG, butane or naphtha. Upgrading fuel gas produced onsite is a proven way to significantly cut the cost of your hydrogen production. Refinery fuel gases are an attractive feedstock option. However, impure RFG feeds can cause problems in the feedstock purification section. With Haldor Topsoe’s fuel gas hydrotreating (FGH) technology, ...

  • Suspension crystallization technology

    Suspension crystallization technology completes Sulzer‘s existing portfolio of melt crystallization technology consisting of falling film and static crystallization. Based upon careful evaluation of the technologies, our clients can be sure to receive the ideal process for their separation challenge, be it one of our crystallization technologies or even a hybrid process. Suspension crystallization is a highly selective, low energy consuming and solvent-free separation ...

  • Tracerco Diagnostics™

    Providing real time measurement technologies to assist with critical decision making. Tracerco Scanning Services TRU-SCAN® Application. Do you have problems with the operation of your stripper/absorber or fractionation tower? Is this limiting production? Do you want to reduce your operating costs? Do you want to reduce your shutdown time? Tracerco’s Tru-Scan™ technology, utilizing FrothView™, is used to evaluate the mechanical integrity and hydraulic performance ...

  • Tracerco Diagnostics™ FCCU Study

    The Fluidized Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU) is the economic heart of a modern refinery. Even small increases in its yield can bring about significant overall gains in productivity and revenue. Tracerco is a world leading industrial technology company providing unique and specialized detection, diagnostic and measurement solutions. A Tracerco Diagnostics™ FCCU Study will provide you with the information you need to optimize or troubleshoot your specific process: - All ...

  • VFF Products

    VFF supplies a wealth of column-related products and consultation services for the most diverse applications e.g.: • Absorption • Desorption • Distillation • Extraction • Drying • Cooling • Humidification • Water treatment • Droplet separation (demisters) • Desalination • Heterogeneous catalyst reactors • and much more

  • Wet gas sulfuric acid - profitable sulfur management

    The WSA technology is an excellent alternative to the Claus technology for sulfur management within oil refining, coal gasification, gas sweetening etc. High steam production, feed flexibility, ease of operation, and low CAPEX & OPEX are some key benefits for the operator when selecting the WSA technology. Today we have +130 references world wide.

  • Why do many crude/vacuum units perform poorly?

    In many cases it’s because the original design was based more on virtual than actual reality. There is no question: computer simulations have a key role to play but it’s equally true that process design needs to be based on what works in the field and not on the ideals of the process simulator. Nor should the designer simply base the equipment selection on vendor-stated performance. The design engineer needs to have actual refinery process engineering experience, not ...

  • Why produce diesel from the vacuum unit?

    Look ahead five years. The economy is likely to keep tightening and the rush to control pollution will inevitably be accompanied by demands for greater energy conservation. Consequence? A growing market for diesel which yields more energy per unit volume. Yet many continue to believe that producing diesel from the vacuum unit is poor design—that it should be produced only from the atmospheric column. Hence many refiners feed 20-30% diesel boiling range material to their ...