Advanced Catalysis and Processes to Convert Heavy Residues Into Fuels and High Value Chemicals

Advanced Catalysis and Processes to Convert Heavy Residues Into Fuels and High Value Chemicals

Feras Ahmed Alshehri (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia), Saeed M. Al-Shihri (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia), Mohammed C. Al-Kinany (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia), Bandar M. Al-Hudaib (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia), Abdulaziz F. Al-Ghashem (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia), Ali A. Algarni (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia), Sami D. Alzahrani (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia), Peter P. Edwards (University of Oxford, UK) and Tiancun Xiao (University of Oxford, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8033-1.ch004

Abstract

The petroleum refining process begins with distillation, first at atmospheric pressure and after at reduced pressure. The volatile fractions, in both cases, have greater economic value, and the distillation residue-produced atmospheric residue and vacuum residue represent a significant portion of a barrel of crude. The need to convert bottom of the barrel into cleaner and more valuable olefins and liquid products is continuously increasing. Thus, residue must be converted into more valuable products, and further processes can be employed for upgrading residue. Examples are delayed coking, visco-reduction, and fluidized catalytic cracking. On the other hand, the optimization of refining facilities to deal with such feeds brings economic competitiveness since these oils have low prices in the international market. Studies on processes and catalytic cracking are quite important under this aspect. The conversion of heavy petroleum fraction into valuable liquid products and high value chemicals has been important objectives for upgrading heavy petroleum oils.
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Vacuum Distillation Residue

Vacuum distillates and vacuum residue can have several uses depending upon the type of crude oil feed, the type of refinery and its downstream capabilities and, most important of all, the anticipated sales of products. Thus, the general function if vacuum tower is to remove the maximum possible amount of distillate from the charge stock consistent with meeting products specifications on the residuum as well as the distillates.

Vacuum residue of Ural crude contains mainly hydrocarbons with boiling points above 520 °C. Moreover, it contains about 3% sulphur and 0.5% nitrogen in the form of hetero-organic compounds, and minor amounts of organo-metallic compounds, predominantly nickel and vanadium compounds.

The methods of vacuum tower operation are pitch and asphalt operations. One other method of vacuum tower operation is the production of large volumes of bunker fuels. The resulting residual fuels are slightly lighter than in normal operations but are still quite adequate from the end use standpoint.

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