(45a) Improving Circulating Dehydrogenation Technology through Optimization of Fluidization
The dehydrogenation of light alkanes to corresponding light olefins is industrially an important process. One of the commercial alkane dehydrogenation circulating fluidized bed reactors was underperforming for quite some time. In addition, the catalyst losses were significantly higher than the design value. Several aspects related to fluidization, catalysis and process engineering were investigated to understand and resolve these issues in the Plant. The co-authors of this study focused on the fluidization aspects of the process, and benchmarked equipment design as well as operating conditions against industrial best practices. The team extensively studied the design of feed distributors, cyclones, internals, strippers, etc. Furthermore, attrition properties were also assessed for different types of catalyst used in the unit. Several recommendations and improvement modifications were proposed by the team in order to increase olefin production and to reduce catalyst losses significantly. This study provides insights into the improvement of fluidization behavior and systematic approach followed by the team to determine underlying root causes in the circulating fluidized bed unit.