Fluid Catalytic Cracking and Gas Processing, Fourth Quarter 2012
In its Fourth Quarter 2012 Worldwide Refinery Processing Review, Fluid Catalytic Cracking and Gas Processing report, Hydrocarbon Publishing covered the development and market introduction of Rive’s proprietary Molecular Highway™ technology for application in FCC catalysts. An initial commercial trial was carried out from August to late October 2011 at the 7.4K b/d FCCU located at CountryMark’s 27K-b/d Mt. Vernon, IN (US) refinery. Following completion, it was estimated that switching from the previous FCC catalyst employed on the unit to GRX-3 increased margins by 72¢/bbl of FCC feed. Subsequent to the CountryMark trial, Rive developed a significantly improved second generation of mesoporous zeolite and recently completed a second commercial trial at Alon USA’s Big Spring, TX refinery. The refiner, running a light resid feed in the FCC unit, used improvements in coke selectivity to process higher feed rates. Further, improved selectivity to transportation fuels, coupled with the higher feed rates, provided significantly higher yields of gasoline and LCO, without exceeding the refiner’s limits on LPG and bottoms yields. The net result, over the course of the three month trial, was an increased margin of $2.50 per barrel of FCC feed and the refiner plans to continue use of the Molecular Highway technology in 1Q 2013.
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