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Fluid Catalytic Cracking

Because of its flexibility, the FCCU is known to perform "miracles" for refiners in meeting challenges of increasingly stringent fuel standards, changing market conditions, and competing technologies. Over the years, the role of the FCCU has expanded from a gasoline machine to an olefins maker, a sulfur remover, a residue upgrader, and a ULSD feedstock contributor by maximizing LCO output. Furthermore, it is lending itself to two additional roles - biofeeds user and refinery CO2 emissions reducer - to alleviate growing concerns over energy security and global warming. Therefore, some in the refining industry said FCC should stand for "Flexible Catalytic Cracking."

Driven by current or anticipated changes to the refining industry, the study consists of state-of-the-art technologies, plant operating experiences, and recent research efforts. The main focus is on the evolution of FCCU design and operation, identification of changes in hardware and control schemes, and review of catalysts and maintenance strategies.

How it will benefit you

The benefits of the current study are to help refiners assess the latest technology developments and industry-wide trends to tackle energy transition. It also enables refiners to make better strategic decisions of FCC operations going forward in addressing concerns of demand decline and peak accelerated by the pandemic; desires to sustain margins through higher unit productivity and lower energy costs; and plant decarbonization.

What does it include

The study begins with a survey of FCC market fundamentals including the positive impact COVID-19 vaccinations will have on fuels and PC demand from H2 2021. Recent innovations feature the new offerings by BASF (Altrium catalyst for increasing gasoline and LCO yields, Fourtune to maximize butylenes make ZEAL ZSM-5 additive for boosting propylene make), Lummus Technology (Single Regenerator Dual Catalyst (SRDC) technology), Shell (Shell Advanced and Rigorous Cat Cracking Model (SHARC)), TechnipFMC (FIT G-Series and FIT R-Series FCC feed nozzles developed with Axens and PropyleneMAX catalytic cracking (PMcc) technology that uses Grace's VIP-R high-propylene catalyst), and W.R Grace (Molecular Highway Zeolite (MHY) and light olefins FCC additives called ZAVANTI).

The study also includes extensive discussions of plant operations and practices that identify valuable operating experiences and daily trouble-shooting techniques shared by veteran refining professionals around the world. To chart future FCC directions, there is a comprehensive look at recent FCC patent and research paper works ranging from light olefins yield enhancement, aromatics production, processing resid, biofeed coprocessing, to FCC emissions abatement.

Finally, global installed capacity and recent construction activities are summarized in the study to track the growth of FCC units around the world.

Publication details

Publication frequency

Single publication

Publication format

Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file


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