The Future for Hydrocracking: Part 2
Refineries are gearing up to make more jet fuel/kerosene. For instance, PetroChina has said that it will build a new hydrocracking unit at its Golmud refinery in Qinghai province, China with the capacity to make 150,000 t/y (3200 b/d) of kerosene. The new unit was expected to start up in October 2017. Sinopec’s Fushun Research Institute of Petroleum and Petrochemicals (FRIPP) has developed a new generation of flexible hydrocracking catalyst. This features a smooth and open pore structure that significantly improves utilisation of the active centre, enhancing selective hydrocracking reaction capacity for flexible production of high quality chemical raw materials (high aromatic content heavy naphtha) and clean fuel products (CN-V standard clean diesel or its blending component and high quality jet fuel No. 3). HC-320 from UOP is said to possess superior activity and stability when compared to previous generation hydrocracking catalysts. In addition to diesel, HC-320 can yield ethylene cracker feed, jet A-1/kerosene, and high quality lube base stocks. HC-520 is the newest distillate selective hydrocracking catalyst offered by UOP in the Unity line. HC-520 utilises a new support technology and alternative metals compared to other Unity hydrocracking catalysts to boost the output of distillate. An unidentified grassroots refining/petrochemical complex in China has contracted Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) to license a number of its technologies. These include Isocracking, Isotreating and delayed coking technologies to produce a variety of products including diesel, jet fuel and heavy naphtha. The heavy naphtha will be fed to the petrochemical complex as feed for a BP paraxylene opex-advantaged crystallisation technology to produce paraxylene. A number of hydrocracking catalyst developers have also introduced new heavy naphtha maximisation catalysts in recent years. Heavy naphtha production from the hydrocracker has become more popular recently given expected long-term decline in demand for diesel and the ability of heavy naphtha from the hydrocracker to be fed to a catalytic reforming unit to yield high octane reformate for the gasoline pool or BTX: for instance, Albemarle’s KC 2715 hydrocracking catalyst, Axens’ Craken-Flex, Criterion Catalysts & Technologies’ Z-863, and Haldor Topsøe’s TK-971 zeolitic catalyst. Source: PTQ, Q1 2018, p. 25.
TCG Note: Worth a read! In related news, CLG has introduced a new scheme for a hydrocracker and base plant that’s been commercialized at Tatneft’s Taneco refinery in Russia, which will also be adopted by Pemex at Salamanca in Mexico.