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AQUAFORM™: An Advanced Asphaltene Pelletization Processto Maximize the Value of ROSE™ Solvent Deasphalting

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000217603D
Publication Date: 2012-May-08
Document File: 21 page(s) / 1M

Publishing Venue

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AQUAFORMTM:An Advanced Asphaltene Pelletization Process to Maximize the Value of ROSETMSolvent Deasphalting

Murugesan Subramanian and Jon Moretta Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc. - Houston, TX

         and
Rick Bloom and Michael Martin The Devco Companies
-Tulsa, OK

     Presentedat the XI Refinery Technology Meet "Refining Industry in 2Is'Century -Challenges & Strategies"

held at Hyderabad, India during February 9-11 2000

Ke#ogg BFownSRoot AHalburton Cmfmy


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AQUAFORMm: An Advanced Asphaltene Pelletization Processto Maximizethe Value of ROSETMSolvent Deasphalting

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Refiners have been searching for many years to find a cost-effective means to upgrade the bottom-of-the-barrelfrom crude oil. Historically, thermal conversion, carbon rejection processes such as delayed coking and visbreaking have been widely used, accounting for well over 50% of the existing worldwide upgrading capacity. While delayed coking has been used extensively, the process has several inherent drawbacks including high capital and operating costs. The semi-batch nature of a delayed coker requires a complicated solids management system and is very manpower intensive. This semi-batch operation also raises concerns of reliability, operability, safety and coke handling. Lastly, the liquid products from a delayed coker are unstable and require substantial hydroprocessing,while the solid coke product produced has a low value and difficult to market.

Over the last 20 years, the ROSETM(Residuum Oil Supercritical Extraction) solvent deasphalting process has become a popular upgrading alternative to delayed coking, and 31 ROSETMunits have been licensedsince the technology was first commercialized in 1979. The capital and operating costs of the ROSETMprocess are substantially lower than delayed coking. In addition, the deasphalted oil product from a ROSETMunit is not subjected to thermal cracking reactions and is therefore a relatively high-value conversion feedstock versus coker gasoils. Despite the many benefits of solvent deasphalting, the challenge of handling and transporting the asphaltene bottoms product has somewhat limited the application of the process. This asphaltene product is produced as a high viscosity liquid, which solidifies at ambient temperature. In many cases the asphaltene is blended with light cutter-stock to produce fuel oil for transportation purposes.

Now, a new technology called AQUAFORMTMhas been developed by The Devco Companies and Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc. to minimize the handling problems of asphaltene b elletizing the asphaltenefrom solvent deasphalters. AQUAFORM IS a low-cost, high-capacity, continuous process for producing uniform, solid asphaltene pellets. The pellets producedfrom AQUAFORMTMare resistant to dusting and can be easily handled, stored, and transported. The asphaltene pellets have a higher heating value and improvedfuel properties versus coke, thus adding value to this product. By producing asphaltene pellets and freeing up higher...