February 2003

Special Report: Clean Fuels

Protect desulfurization catalyst with prefiltration systems

Suspended solids in refinery feeds foul critical desulfurization catalysts and heat exchange equipment and rob refiners of potential profits

Cathcart, N., Lindstrom, T. H., Pall Corp.; Levesque, F., Pall Canada

Tremendous investments are made on desulfurization systems. Modern refineries will increasingly use fixed-bed catalytic reactors, hydrogen and specialized catalysts to upgrade hydrocarbon fractions and to remove sulfur compounds. The estimated returns for these capital projects hinge on achieving runlengths and equipment availability for the new installations. Thus, efforts to ensure processing availability and equipment uptime are just as critical as installing new processing methodologies. 'Dirty' feeds. Catalysts are very vulnerable to the negative effects from fine-sized solids suspended with hydrocarbon feeds. Suspended particles as small as 1 to 5 micron (mm) can adversely impact

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