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Maximize Yields of C3= from the FCC

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Max Propylene Operations

While the growth in demand for transportation fuels is expected to slow in the coming decades, the growth in demand for petrochemical feedstocks such as propylene is expected to remain strong. In addition to transportation fuel production, the FCCU is the principal source of propylene from the refinery. Many refiners are implementing strategies to integrate their refining operations with petrochemical assets to capitalize on the favorable outlook for petrochemicals. For such refiners, operating continuously in max propylene operation is very profitable. Other refiners have chosen to remain fuel focused yet are dynamic and will change operation to increase C3= yield depending on product economics. Irrespective of refinery strategy, Grace offers a robust suite of catalytic solutions to maximize propylene yields and create differentiated value for refiners. 

Maximize Yield of Valuable Products 

While max C3= may be a key objective of the FCCU, the total value generated by the FCCU depends in large part on the yields of other key products (for example, LCO, gasoline, C4=s, or even C2= for refineries that can recover C2= from the FCCU). Grace has catalytic solutions to deliver the yield slate that is most profitable to the refiner. 

Maximize Feed Flexibility

Refineries can improve profitability by reducing the cost of purchased crude. Typically, lower cost crudes are difficult to process due to high contaminant levels such as V, Ni, Fe, Na, and Ca to name a few. These contaminants can lead to zeolite destruction and significant reduction of the diffusion of feed molecules into the catalyst. Grace has catalytic solutions that enable refiners to process feedstock with the most contaminants. 

ZSM-5 Technology

ZSM-5 technology is a critical component of max C3= FCC catalysts. ZSM-5 is a shape selective zeolite that in the FCC cracks gasoline range olefins into light olefins such as C3= and C4=s. Grace was the first to commercialize ZSM-5 technology for FCCs and continues to innovate today. Grace ZSM-5 technology includes OlefinsUltra® family of additives as well as the latest generation ZAVANTI™ technology. 

Minimum Hydrogen Transfer

A design feature of max C3= catalysts is low hydrogen transfer. Usually, as the activity of the FCC catalyst increases, so does the hydrogen transfer activity. Grace zeolite technologies to minimize hydrogen transfer include (i) mesoporous zeolites such as those found in RIVE® to facilitate diffusion of gasoline olefin products to not only minimize hydrogen transfer but over cracking as well, and (ii) proprietary chemistry and manufacturing methods of Y zeolites for min hydrogen transfer.

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ISSUE No.128 SUMMER 2023

Get innovative ideas and news from our refining technologies experts in the most recent issue of our Catalagram® magazine.

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