Simulating a Typical Atmospheric Crude Distillation Unit Tutorial

13th Topical on Refinery Processing
2010 AIChE Spring Meeting
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
March 21, 2010 - 8:00pm

Atmospheric Crude Columns are one of the most important pieces of equipment in the petroleum refining industry. Typically located after the Desalter and the Crude Furnace, the Atmospheric Tower serves to distil the crude oil into several different cuts. These include naphtha, kerosene, light diesel, heavy diesel, AGO and atmospheric residue. These columns have a very complex structure with side strippers, side draws and pumparounds with many degrees of freedom for the design.

In this tutorial, key design issues for modeling and simulating an Atmospheric Crude Column will be discussed. Process simulation will be used to construct and run an Atmospheric Crude Column including crude oil characterization to predict the thermodynamic and transport properties. Side operations such as strippers and pumparounds will be added to the column to improve operational efficiency. Time permitting, the simulation will be used to analyze and predict the behavior of the column subject to various product specifications and feedstock variations. Dynamic simulation option will also be presented to extend the steady state model to transient model for gaining valuable information about the process behavior.

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