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Hydrotreating

Hydrotreating (HT) is a process that has become synonymous with removing impurities from petroleum feedstocks. By mixing hydrogen and feedstocks under controlled conditions in the presence of a catalyst, contaminants in the form of sulfur-, nitrogen-, and oxygen-containing compounds, as well as metals, can be removed. When the catalyst is designed to remove a specific class of compounds, that fact is reflected in the name of the process, e.g., hydrodesulfurization (HDS), hydrodemetallization (HDM), hydrodenitrogenation (HDN), and hydrodearomatization (HDA)/hydrogenation (HYD).

Hydrotreating is suitable for removing contaminants from feedstreams or product streams. For the feedstocks intended for other refinery processes—catalytic cracking, hydrocracking, catalytic reforming, and isomerization—HT protects the sensitive (and costly) catalysts from contamination. In regards to product streams, refiners rely on HT to perform posttreatment in order to meet mandated specifications such as gasoline benzene, sulfur, and also olefins (for European and Californian standards). HDS of diesel is required to satisfy ultra-low sulfur requirements. To a lesser extent, HT may be used to produce 0.5 wt% sulfur bunker fuel oil for the 2020 International Maritime Organization (IMO) mandate. Furthermore, hydrotreaters play a key role in processing unconventional (resid and renewable) feeds to produce more diesel while helping meet stricter environmental regulations.

How it will benefit you

To benefit hydrotreater operators, the study reviews the latest technology solutions to tackle the HTU drawbacks i.e. significant capital investment, relatively high operating costs (catalysts and hydrogen), and operation severity that could adversely saturate aromatics and olefins.

Furthermore, several urgent feedstock and product issues are addressed in details to equip refiners with tools in (1) saturation of aromatics in feeds like LCO in order to decrease diesel density and therefore increase the potential gains of incoming crude; (2) improvement to diesel quality through hydrodewaxing (HDW), which can improve the cloud point and pour point for better cold flow properties; and (3) making 10 ppm gasoline to meet US Tier 3 and Euro-5 standards when deciding between FCC pretreatment and FCC posttreatment.

What does it include

The current study, completed in 3Q2020, begins by providing an updated look at the global hydrotreating market including middle distillate supply and demand fundamentals and prices and what impact COVID-19 will have on high-quality diesel and gasoline output and flows moving forward in both the short and long term.

In addition to a comprehensive list of state-of-the-art technologies, recent innovations feature the new offerings: Albemarle and ExxonMobil (new Galexia hydroprocessing platform); Applied Research Associates, Inc. and Chevron Lummus Global's Biofuels (ISOCONVERSION technology); ART (new resid hydrotreating catalyst platforms from including HSLS Plus, ECAD, DCS, and HOP); Clariant (ASAT trifunctional zeolitic and ActiSorb hydroprocessing catalysts); Eurecat (Totsucat LOAD & GO ex-situ pre-sulfiding service); GTC Technology (MaxFlux that can treat diesel, naphtha and VGO to yield FCC and HC feed or ULSD and ULSG); Haldor Topsoe (A.S.T. line of hydroprocessing reactor internals, and more.

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. A recent key knowledge shows using data reconciliation and multivariable optimization to boost diesel hydrotreater performance.

For refiners looking ahead, the study discusses the latest patent applications and research papers regarding hydrotreating technology including process designs and catalysts aimed to make naphtha HDS more selective, catalyst supports applicable for ULSD production, resid hydrotreating and heavy oil upgrading innovations, new methods for producing biofuels from renewable feedstocks; and more.

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

Publication details

Publication frequency

Single publication

Publication format

Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file

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