News & Resources


Delivering Drop-in Renewable Fuels

The Biofuels Isoconversion (BIC) process converts freshly produced or used lipid based feedstocks, such as FOG into renewable fuels including diesel, jet, and naphtha. This process is unique because it produces fuels that are molecularly nearly identical to fuels produced from petroleum. The nearly identical chemistry results in jet and diesel fuels that are true ‘drop-in’ fuels which do not require blending with petroleum. Therefore, the BIC process can be applied as an insertable unit to existing hydrotreating units which enables co-processing, or built as a stand-alone unit for renewable fuel production.

Advances in Residue Hydrocracking

With the recent downturn oil prices, the incentive to upgrade residues has also shifted as upgrading mar- gins have been compressed. To maximize upgrading margins, technology solutions that maximize high quality, high hydro- gen content transportation fuels (gasoline, kerosene, and diesel) and minimize uncovered residues are required.

Reactor Effluent Air Cooler Safety Through Design

In hydroprocessing units, the reactor effluent cooler (REAC) is one of the most vital pieces of equipment, and any hindrance to its smooth operation immediately impacts the whole high-pressure loop. Older REAC designs used carbon steel, but these required low concentrations of ammonium bisulphide and/or polysulphide sulphide injection together with frequent and thorough inspections. As feeds in most heavy oil hydroprocessing service have become more laden with sulphur and nitrogen, the concentrations of ammonium bisulphide with economic levels of water injection have risen to a point where carbon steel tubes have routinely been substituted by alloy tubing.

Hydroprocessing to Maximize Refinery Profitability

Refineries are continuously challenged to produce more and cleaner products from a broader range of feeds, preferably with limited or no capital investments.

Refinery Configurations for Maximizing Middle Distillates

Refiners globally continue to face numerous challenges as environmental laws become increasingly stringent. Principal among them in the near future will be the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) proposed changes to bunker fuel oil sulphur limits, from the current limit of over 3.5% down to 0.5% globally and from 1% to 0.1% in Emission Control Areas. Global demand for high-sulphur residual fuel oil (HSFO) is steadily declining too, by 35% since 1995. Both of these changes will significantly impact a refiner’s ability to market any significant quantity of HSFO at a price that will maintain refinery profitability.

Delayed Coking and LC-FINING Technology a Winning Combination

The high price of oil and increasing global demand for refined products have resulted in unprecedented refining margins, especially for those refiners processing heavy, high sulphur crudes. Many refiners are reinvesting their profits by upgrading existing refining facilities, focusing primarily on the ability to process heavier, higher sulphur and higher naphthenic acid crudes by adding delayed cokers or ebullated bed hydrocracking technologies. For those refiners currently processing light, sweet crudes, the switch to a heavier crude slate and the addition of a delayed coking unit or an ebullated bed hydrocracking unit will significantly increase their refining margin.

Producing Lubes and Fuels

The benefits of hydrocracking when producing feed for lubricant base stocks are well known and utilised in many plants around the world. In most cases, there is a dedicated lube hydrocracker, followed by dewaxing and finishing steps. However, the integration of a hydrocracker devoted primarily to making high-quality fuels (especially ultra-low-sulphur and low-aromatics diesel), as well as excellent feed for a dewaxing/finishing unit, is more unusual. In this dual role, Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) has exploited both process and catalyst to meet process objectives. CLG’s first innovation

Hydroprocessing Upgrades to Meet Changing Fuels Requirements

Refiners have to think creatively in order to meet specifications and develop projects that are profitable, with returns on investment that are subject to a higher level of scrutiny in view of restrictions on capex. Light-heavy crude differentials have recently eroded, but the expectation is that the differentials will recover and encourage the development of projects that meet fuels regulations with some bottom of the barrel conversion to light products. There also appears to be momentum in the marketplace to increase diesel production, in the US in particular, with an expected increase in the use of diesel-powered engines for personal vehicles.

Hydrocracking Catalyst and Processing Developments

Refiners currently find themselves in a challenging environment as regulations continue to increase demands on refining processes, while high-quality refining feedstocks become scarcer and consequently more expensive. This combination of increasing raw material cost (usually of lesser quality), coupled with more stringent finished product quality requirements, emphasizes the need to utilize the latest technology to remain competitive and maintain safe unit operation.

Thermodynamic Model of Sediment Deposition in the LC-FINING Process

The LC-FINING ebullated bed hydrocracking process is used to hydrocrack residuum. In this process, sediment deposition in the downstream equipment sometimes affects the overall economics by limiting the operating conversion, even though the upstream reactor system is capable of achieving much higher conversion levels. The sediment is measured by SHFT value (Shell Hot Filtration Test method), which mainly measures that portion of the asphaltene that is insoluble in heavy oil at specific laboratory test conditions.