(716d) Predicting and Improving FCC Reactor Cyclone Performance Using CFD Techniques

Singh, R. - Presenter, TechnipFMC Process Technology
Gbordzoe, E., TechnipFMC Process Technology
TechnipFMC Process Technology uses computational fluid dynamics (CFD) as an FCC design and troubleshooting tool. CFD provides qualitative as well as quantitative information which is used to visualize and understand gas/catalyst flow behavior. TechnipFMC is actively using CFD to identify unit mal-performance and evaluate hardware and operational changes required to optimize FCC units.

This paper highlights the application of CFD modeling for troubleshooting FCC reactor cyclone operation. The paper discusses the effect of inlet configuration on cyclone performance. Barracuda CFD software is used to model the performance of a riser – cyclone system operating with high catalyst losses. The cyclone performance is then compared with cold flow study as well as with commercial data and CFD results from a similar unit operating at higher efficiencies. The results show that the riser exit configuration design can cause flow pulsation and turbulence at the cyclone inlet which affects cyclone pressure drop and catalyst collection efficiency. The paper also discusses the challenges faced in modeling gas solid flow in industrial reactor cyclones.