(123b) Optimising EDC Cracker Operation to Enhance VCM Plant Economics
- Conference: AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
- Year: 2018
- Proceeding: 2018 Spring Meeting and 14th Global Congress on Process Safety
- Group: Computing and Systems Technology Division
- Time: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 1:55pm-2:20pm
Coke is another by-product of EDC cracking and its deposition on cracker tube walls leads to increased pressure drop and high tube skin temperatures, with the consequence that eventually the furnace needs to be taken offline for decoking. Even though EDC conversion, yield of VCM and impurities and coking rates are key for profitable plant operation, these are not normally measured directly because of the challenging physical environment.
The paper describes the development of rigorous models for the EDC cracking furnace and their use in monitoring and optimising operation. The furnace model is based on detailed radical-based cracking kinetic mechanism and includes kinetics for coke deposition in the coils. Such a model, once validated against plant data, serves as a valuable tool to predict key performance indicators (KPIs) such as conversion, yields and coking rates. It can also be used for optimisation of the cracker operation to improve the VCM plant economics.
The approach has successfully been used in a project with a Thai petrochemical company to model and optimise their EDC crackers. The cracking and coking kinetic models were tuned to plant data and the validated model is then used to perform dynamic optimisation of the EDC cracker. The optimisation results identify potential for significant savings due to operation at higher conversion, without adversely affecting key impurity yields and run length.
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