(47a) Innovative Catalyst Solutions to Improve Refining Margins

Khakhar, H., Haldor Topsoe
Refiners are searching for the absolute top tier NiMo catalyst for their hydrocracking pretreat or medium to high-pressure ULSD units to improve volume swell and / or maximize diesel make from their refineries in light of impending IMO 2020 regulations. They are doing so while processing opportunity crudes and constraints of limited existing reactor volume.

The key to improve volume swell and process more difficult feed lies within the removal of nitrogen from the feed. Nitrogen limits both sulfur removal (HDS activity), aromatic saturation (HDA activity), density reduction, and volume swell. It is essential to remove the nitrogen in order to further improve catalyst functionality. Topsoe has developed the TK-6001 HySwellâ„¢ catalyst specifically for this purpose. When used in hydrocracking pretreatment and ultra-low-sulfur diesel production, the TK-6001 HySwellâ„¢ catalyst is able to remove 99,9% nitrogen from the feed. This boosts the HDS activity significantly and enables refiners to meet diesel sulfur specifications, improve aromatic saturation, as well as increase the volume swell for a higher yield and operating profitability.

Improvement of cold flow properties of diesel is crucial in North America to maximize diesel end point for given cloud point specifications. For example, increasing 10 F diesel EP would provide 1% higher diesel yield.

Catalytic dewaxing is a catalytic solution that allows significant cold flow improvement. Catalytic dewaxing can be done via two routes: cracking of long n-paraffins into smaller n-paraffins (which will induce a significant yield loss) and isomerisation of normal paraffins into iso-paraffins (low yield loss). In this presentation, several catalysts based on different zeolites will be compared in various services (sweet and sour modes) for fossil fuel based diesel as well as renewable based feedstock.