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KBR successfully starts up DWCs

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

KBR, Inc. has announced that HollyFrontier Corporation (HFC) has successfully started up two dividing wall columns (DWC) at their El Dorado refinery, Kansas, USA. These grassroots and revamp column startups for HFC apply KBR’s innovative Distill-Max technology and add to KBR’s portfolio of successful Distill-Max technology implementations.

For the grassroots column, KBR’s advanced DWC technology, Distill-Max Plus, helped HFC to reduce Capex and Opex in their ‘MSAT II Compliance Naphtha Fractionation Project’. KBR’s design is the world’s first commercial 4-product DWC for a refinery application. KBR’s Distill-Max Plus design rewarded HFC with a column area reduction of 25% and energy savings of 30% for the grassroots naphtha fractionator when compared to the requirements for a conventional column design.

For the revamp column, KBR utilised its DWC technology, Distill-Max, to provide a unique design to repurpose an existing column in the overheads section of a crude unit. The revamp of the existing column to a DWC realised a significant improvement in the separation efficiency, while achieving a 25% reduction in the energy requirement to remove butanes from the straight run naphtha when compared to a conventional 3-product column solution.

KBR has provided the complete technical solution to HFC, comprising the basic design and the supply of column trays and internals for both projects since 2013. John Derbyshire, President of KBR Technology & Consulting, said, “Distill-Max technology uses efficient distillation to reduce energy demand and increase separation efficiency achieving great benefits for our clients. We are proud of this successful application of the Distill-Max column designs and are happy to share this success with HFC.”

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle

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