October 2006

Special Report: Process Control and Information Systems

Set vapor velocity setpoints profitably

Use Clifftent principles to account for operating limit tradeoffs and risk to substantially improve financial performance

Latour, P. R., Clifftent Inc.

Petroleum fuel and petrochemical production from oil refineries in 2006 did not match new demand, causing jumps in prices for gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, heating oil and petrochemicals worldwide. Prudently relaxing refinery constraints is an effective way to increase production and profit. Refinery limits are usually quoted as maximum feed rates to major processes like fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) and catalytic reforming (CR) for gasoline; hydrocracking (HCU) and delayed coking (DCU) for jet and diesel; hydrodesulfurization (HDS) for sulfur removal; and crude distillers (CDUs) for crude oil separation. But unit feed can always be increased above the nameplate maximum by reducing operatio

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