Improvements of Ebullated-Bed Technology for Upgrading Heavy Oils

Abstract : Residue from heavy crude oils can be upgraded through various existing processes. Among these processes, the catalytic hydroconversion ebullated-bed process (H-Oil) has the unique feature of deeply converting heavy feedstocks with high impurity contents while operating with a long cycle time. This is accomplished through daily on-line catalyst replacement of a small portion of the catalyst bed. The ebullated-bed reactor includes an internal recirculation of the reactor liquid to ebullate the catalyst bed. The paper will present background information on the H-Oil process and discuss some of the recent improvements that have been developed for this technology. A Residence-Time Distribution (RTD) study was conducted using a radiotracer on a new laboratory bench unit of this process. This experiment quantified the reactor hydrodynamics and the liquid holdup. These parameters are critical to insure a safe extrapolation of the pilot plant results. The technology of H-Oil process was improved for heavy feedstocks. A new hot high-pressure separator design, based on R&D studies, has been developed to improve the separation of gas/liquid avoiding excessive liquid carry-over and gas carry-under. The use of this new separator in a commercial H-Oil plant operation at higher feedstock throughput results in improved operation and minimization of operating costs.
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S. Kressmann, C. Boyer, J. J. Colyar, J. M. Schweitzer, J. C. Viguie. Improvements of Ebullated-Bed Technology for Upgrading Heavy Oils. Oil & Gas Science and Technology - Revue d'IFP Energies nouvelles, Institut Français du Pétrole, 2000, 55 (4), pp.397-406. ⟨10.2516/ogst:2000028⟩. ⟨hal-02054047⟩

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