Refinery Residuals as a Source of Chemical Feedstock
Publication Date: 2012-May-08
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NO. I 3jraper NO.
KBR Paper # 1641 REFINERY RESIDUALS AS A SOURCE OF CHEMICAL FEEDSTOCK
REFINERY R E S L D U U M - A S Q ~ O F - ~ A L
Jon Moretta and Pankaj Shah, Kellogg Brown and Root, Inc., Houston, Texas
Abstract. Stricter environmentalregulations and increased availability of natural gashave resulted in gradually decreasing demand for refinery bottomsstreams. Refiners around the world are evaluating options to upgrade low value refinery residuals to highervalue products.
This paper compares different refmery residue upgrading schemes with the objective of generating low value feedto a gasification complex for production of highvalue chemical feedstock. The refmry bottoms upgrading processes evaluated include ROSEm (Residuum Oil Supercritical Extraction) solvent deasphaking, visbreaking, and delayed coking. The extra heavy refinery residual stream from the bottomsupgrading unit is gasified to produce syngas in an environmentally friendly manner. The
impact of the feedstock value on gasification economics is discussed.
Syngas fiom gasification of refinery residuals canbeused for the generation of electrical power, steam, and hydrogen as well as feedstock for production of a wide variety of chemicals. Syngas can
also be converted to a range of liquid hydrocarbon products via the Fischer-Tropsch technology. The gasification complex is not only a source of valuable chemical feedstock but is also a generator of inexpensive utilities for the refmery aswell asthe petrochemical complex.
Fuel refineries around the world have changed substantially during the past two decades primarily due to changing crude oil supply, varying product patterns, and envi- ronmental regulations. The increasingly severe restrictions on the levels of SOX,
and other emissions fiom the combustion of heavy fuels has led to decreased demand for residual fuel oil products. Additionally, the increasedavailability and use of natural gas as fuel for power plants has compounded the decreased demand for fuel oil. Figure 1 shows the total world demand growth for crude and petroleum products fiom 1999to 2010.
Figure 1 - World Petroleum Product
The increased demand for the transportation fuels vis-his residual fuel oil hasresulted in an imbalance in thedemand and supply of refinery products creating a surplus of low priced and low quality heavy residues. There is a need to plan for conversion of residues to lighter products with the target of zero fuel oil production. This need is not only driven by refinery economics but more so by environmental considerations. Gasification provides an environmentally friendly means for reducmdeliminating the production of residual fuel oil.The economics of gasification can be improved by maximizing the conversion of refinery bottoms and routing only the dirtiest andheaviest bottomsstream to the gasifier. The utilization of the residue upgrading process requires car...