(193d) Advanced Simulations in Pilot Plant Process Development for Hydrotreating Bioderived Feedstocks to Finished Specification Fuels

Authors: 
March, K., Southwest Research Institute
Flores, E. III, Southwest Research Institute
Medrano, M., Southwest Research Institute
Process simulations have been a staple tool in process development work. Advanced simulations offer the opportunity to evaluate process performance risk for process development at low cost, if utilized correctly. As the government continues to push for lower emission transportation fuels, hydrotreating various alternative feedstocks (fisher tropes liquids from biomass gasification and plant and animal oils) to finished fuels continues to be the most conventional way to produce lower emission transportation fuels. Integrating new bioderived feedstocks into conventional hydrotreating is ever becoming more important. Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has a long history of conducting pilot-scale hydrotreating, historically the expertise is gained from empirical data. As we transition to lower cost modelling efforts and better understanding the impact of bioderived feedstocks on conventional hydrotreating, advanced simulation options are being tested against historical pilot plant data and existing spreadsheet models. The presented case study evaluates advanced simulation capabilities for evaluation of alternative feedstocks in conventional refinery hydrotreaters by comparing empirical pilot-scale data to model performance.