(400e) Heavy Oil Reforming in a Dual Circulating Fluidized Bed Reactor | AIChE

(400e) Heavy Oil Reforming in a Dual Circulating Fluidized Bed Reactor

Authors 

Srinivas, G. - Presenter, TDA Research Inc.
Schwab, S., TDA Research
Gebhard, S., TDA Research Inc.
TDA Research has developed a patented process to steam reform any hydrocarbon feedstock (ranging from methane to VTB) over nickel-based reforming catalysts while simultaneously regenerating the catalyst in a dual circulating fluidized bed (DCFB) reactor system. In this sense, our process functions somewhat like an autothermal chemical looping steam reformer (a-CLR), preventing deactivation of the catalyst by removing coke and sulfur in the regenerator before it can build up to damaging levels. TDA’s technology, called HyRes, converts low-value heavy refinery feedstocks into high H2/CO ratio syngas. Because we use a separate vessel for catalyst regeneration, limited nitrogen is introduced into the syngas, which improves the efficiency of downstream water gas shift (WGS) and hydrogen separation operations such as pressure swing adsorption (PSA).

Refineries that process heavy, sour crudes that contain metals, sulfur, and high molecular weight aromatic hydrocarbons require considerable hydrogen to upgrade these feedstocks. TDA has been granted a patent for this technology that will allow hydrogen to be produced in refineries at a cost that is considerably lower than hydrogen produced from conventional technologies (e.g. SMR) when natural gas prices are high or purchasing hydrogen from a third party.

Under a Phase II Department of Energy SBIR grant, we have successfully designed, built, and operated a bench-scale version (Figure 1) of the DCFB reactor system and have gained important knowledge relevant to the scale-up of our HyRes technology. We continue to experiment in our laboratories with various feedstocks, steam-to-carbon ratios, and oxygen content in the regenerator. TDA is also building a pilot-scale skid-mounted reactor system (Figure 2) to demonstrate this technology at the next scale at a refinery or chemical plant field site. Fabrication of the skid and reactor system is underway and we expect to be able to demonstrate our skid-mounted unit in 2022.