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Please click on the links below to view questions Process and Maintenance Engineers have submitted and answer them!

Gasoline processes

Gasoline processes

  • What procedures do you use to test alkylation unit rapid de-inventory systems?

  • What is your experience and application of advanced separation techniques to reduce capital investment and operating expense?

  • When the regenerator in a CCR unit is shut down for an extended period of time, how do you predict coke on catalyst with no catalyst circulation?

  • How can you manage naphtha oversupply, Tier III gasoline requirements, and increased octane demand?

  • Do you have experience with starting an isomerisation unit without first acidizing the reactor loop? How does this impact catalyst activity?

  • What process safety management factors do you consider when looking into a reformer unit rate increase?

  • Handling of spent caustic. Caustic soda is used in different processes in a refinery to remove Sulphur components from the product streams. When the caustic is spent you have two possibilities: Blending it into the waste water treatment plant (WWTP) or sending it away for disposal. The first is cheap, but results in problems with the operation of the WWTP, especially when the WWTP is operated at the capacity limit already. Second option is expensive. Would be good to hear how others handle the spent caustic.

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Hydroprocessing

Hydroprocessing

  • How do you operate mid-distillate selective recycle hydrocracking units to generate more naphtha while minimizing fuel gas/ liquefied petroleum gas without catalyst replacement?

  • How do you manage reactor misdistribution once identified?

  • We are interested in minimizing our black oil production from the FCC by recycling heavy cycle oil and/or slurry to our FCC feed hydrotreater for aromatic saturation and further cracking. Do you have any experience with this operating mode or recommendations for reduced slurry make via optimization of an FCC pretreat unit?

  • What methods do you use to reduce particulate loading on or debottleneck of existing filtration equipment in a hydroprocessing unit without reducing catalyst cycle life?

  • What are your current practices for and experiences with performing on-line cleaning of heat exchangers vs. offline cleaning?

  • Need to increase capacity, but by mitigating the decrease pressure in reactors by increasing temperature – What does this mean and what are the parameters?

  • Want to see the comparison of the concerns and benefits of using different types of heat exchangers?

  • Performed a leakage test in heat exchangers as the development of the concentration made them think they had the leakage – how can they tell earlier?

  • How much octane is lost when FCC naphtha is desulfurized to 10 ppm sulfur by selective hydroprocessing? In particular, does it ever happen that more than 5 RON units are lost in this process?

  • Our FCC pretreatment unit has a capacity of 85 MBD + 6 mbd cracked naphta from delayed coker units. In this moment the delayed coker unit is out of service because some operationals problems so ita necessary to maintain the naphta processing in order to guarantee this volume to the gasoline pool refinery. I need to evaluate process a volume storage in tanks but it has a high concentration in oxygenated compounds like MTBE a 2 % wt exactly. Therefore i need to know wich will be the main consequences in the reactor at the moment process this stream? I know the exothermicity will be higher and chemical hydrogen consumption too, so i want to know wich is the maximum concentration in oxygenated compounds will be acceptable to process in the reactor without generate any bad consequences?

  • Naphta coming from tanks and the temperature is very low, so at the moment to mix this stream with the vgo+h2 coming from the preheater furnace,  there will be a high vaporization rate, thus, i want to know what is the more consequence of higher vaporization rate?

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Crude / Vacuum Distillation & Coking

Crude / Vacuum Distillation & Coking

  • Have you experienced high corrosion rates in carbon steel piping in resid service operating below 500⁰F?

  • Given the increased volatility of crude and product prices, what additional steps do you take to adjust their crude unit cut points to maximize profitability?

  • What are your important considerations when evaluating the methods used for fouling detection and mitigation in preheat exchangers and furnaces in crude and coker units?

  • What are your best practices for a water wash system to control corrosion in delayed coking fractionator overhead and light-ends systems?

  • Is it feasible to process visbreaker residue as part of the feed to a delayed coking unit? What are the effect of this type of feed on the coker yields, product quality and cycle time?

  • What are your materials of construction criteria for structured packing at the different sections of the crude, vacuum and coking towers? What criteria do you use to replace packing during turnaround?

  • We are observing extensive fouling in heat exchangers around the desalters in our refinery. This is mainly due to water quality: We have a coking unit and process water from the coker is ending up in our sour water system. Coke particles may be one reason for the fouling issues we are observing, however the whole picture might be more complex…also scaling (BaSO4) or other aspects might play a major role… We have discussed the segregation of sour water streams, adding chemicals, changing type of acid for pH adjustment…. The consequences of the fouling issue are high maintenance costs (frequent cleaning) and lack of desalting during cleaning interventions (which will result in corrosion issues downstream the desalters). I’m curious about to hear if there are other operators who observe similar problems or have a recommendation.

  • Can we reduce energy input requirement of crude oil for distillation if miscible lighters is added to heavy oils?

  • Why expensive additives are used for dealing with calcium in crude oils? Why cheaper methods are not being tried?

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FCC

FCC

  • When is your return on investment adequate enough to justify installing a desalter to treat purchased FCC feeds?

  • What is your experience with processing raw crude in the FCC? What types of crude have you tried to process in the FCC? What are the yield impacts? Any corrosion issues associated with this mode of operation? What additional corrosion monitoring is needed?

  • What are your best practices for mitigating operational or performance risks throughout a catalyst changeover?

  • What methods do you use to detect and monitor coke deposition in FCCU risers? What prediction methods have been successful?

  • Pipeline of reactor and tower that would coke up, problem with a number of FCCs globally – long-term troubleshooting problem, take a few years to take hold then have the chance the go in and de-coke and waiting 2 years to find out if it worked – how can this be mitigated?

  • Is it necessary to specify iron content of the fresh catalyst in the FCC catalyst specifications? What is the industry practice about iron specification in the fresh FCC catalyst? What is the impact of iron (Fe) in the FRESH catalyst on FCCU operation and yield performance? Does iron in fresh catalyst has any impact on other properties of Fresh catalyst?

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Troubleshooting / General

Troubleshooting / General

  • How to mitigate the tower flooding when there is a change of feedstock during operating process?

  • How best to adapting refinery units to process more sour crudes / blends and avoid corrosion?

  • When hit a throughput issues or season things affect plants

  • How can we optimise the investment in the boiling site, when the equipment is outdated however we need to know where to get the best return?

  • What potential is there to improve waste water units, independent of the demands of onsite?

  • What is new for crude tanks sludge remove?

  • Performed a leakage test in heat exchangers as the development of the concentration made them think they had the leakage – how can they tell earlier?

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