Process Economics Program Report 195A
Advances in Fluid Catalytic Cracking
Published: November 2005
Recent emphasis in fluid catalytic cracking is on maximum light olefins production, gasoline sulfur reduction and compliance with FCCU NOx and SOx emissions requirements. New cracking catalysts and additives for the reduction of NOx, SOx and gasoline sulfur continue to significantly improve FCCU operation. New hardware designs offer improved unit operation and efficiency.
Areas of recent new hardware design improvements include the standpipe inlet, third stage cyclones, spent catalyst distributor and catalyst stripping. Wet gas scrubbers or selective catalytic reduction may now be required in some cases to meet emissions requirements. This report provides an overview of FCC developments in catalyst, process and hardware technologies since PEP Report 195, Advances in Fluid Catalytic Cracking, issued in 1991. The report then develops process economics for cracking the most common type of FCC feedstock, vacuum gas oil. PEP Report 228, Refinery Residue Upgrading, issued in 2000 reviews the special issues and technology of Residual Fluid Catalytic Cracking (RFCC) and develops process economics for cracking a residual feedstock.
Since the refinery production of light olefins such as propylene offers refiners in some regions, especially Asia and Western Europe, an opportunity for profit, the process economics of maximum light olefins FCC from VGO are developed.
Air emissions (SOx, NOx) from FCCUs and the reduction of FCC gasoline sulfur are major environmental issues discussed.