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HS-FCC for Propylene: Concept to Commercial Operation

MAY 13 - 2016

Authors :

N. Lambert, I. Ogasawara, I. Abba, H. Redhwi, K. Krug

HS-FCC for Propylene: Concept to Commercial Operat

The Fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) process has undergone a long evolution of hardware and catalyst changes from bed cracking with amorphous catalyst to short contact time riser cracking with sophisticated zeolite catalyst systems. Improvements to the process have provided a wide degree of flexibility to selectively target production of distillates or gasoline or propylene from VGO and residue feeds thereby making the FCC the most widely used conversion process.

More generally, the objective of the process is to produce high valued products and increasingly this includes fuels and petrochemicals, including light olefins and aromatics. At present, over 30% of the worldwide propylene supply comes from FCC related processes (FCC, RFCC, DCC). Fluctuating product demand and price have caused most new project developers to demand product flexibility for long term profitability and process integration with petrochemical facilities for added synergy and cost savings.

In order to respond to these market demands, a new High Severity down flow FCC (HS-FCC™) process has been developed by an alliance of Saudi Aramco, JX Nippon Oil & Energy (JX), King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) culminating in a 3,000 BPD semi-commercial unit in operation since 2011 in Japan. The process provides high light olefin yield from a wide variety of feedstocks utilizing high severity reaction conditions, a novel down flow reaction system, and proprietary catalyst. HS-FCC™ is now available for license from a Global Alliance by Axens and Technip Stone & Webster Process Technology.

Published in PetroFed, the Journal of Petroleum Federation of India (January 2016).
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