June 2008

Special Report: Process/Plant Optimization

How do feedstocks affect visbreaker operations?

Studies show that feedstock quality and severity on conversion impact the stability of visbreaker residue

Belchev, Z., Bourgas University; Kirilov, K., Petkov, K., Stratiev, D., LUKOIL Neftohim Burgas

The Lukoil Neftochim Refinery at Bourgas, Bulgaria, began investigating how to improve profitability when thermally cracking Ural vacuum residue (VR). Part of the study involved optimizing operations of the soaker visbreaker unit. The refinery operated the visbreaking unit at LHSV of 1.7 hr–1 with furnace outlet temperatures of 453°C?–?460°C. The vacuum gasoil (VGO) content in the VR and its severity affected the stability of unconverted visbreaker residue (VBR). Decreasing the VGO content in the VR with a high-aromatic stream did not affect conversion of VR but did improve the VBR stability. Adding a high-aromatic fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) slurry to the VBR reduc

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