Nano-engineered zeolites in hydrocracking catalysts – unlocking ultimate performance
Refiners continually search for opportunities to cost-effectively modify unit operation as they adapt to emerging market trends. Occasionally a break-out opportunity comes along to unlock significant unit capability. This presentation describes how new nano-engineered Y-zeolites, the essential ingredient in hydrocracking catalysts, have provided a step-change in molecular conversion capability.
The benefits begin with the ability to improve valuable liquid yields (diesel, jet, heavy naphtha for aromatics), but extend to well beyond, unlocking previously untapped value. These benefits extend to increased lubricants yields and qualities, higher conversion capability of heavier VGO and residue molecules to help eliminate high sulfur fuel oil production, increased catalyst stability leading to longer runs, and an overall improved efficiency of conversion which helps reduce the CO2 cycle footprint.
To remain competitive, refiners must continuously adapt to emerging trends or risk an undesirable performance drop. This continuous improvement quest has driven them to process ever-more difficult feeds and advantaged crudes, to produce more and differentiated fuels, and to generate valuable lubricant base oils or petrochemical products. The hydrocracker has emerged as an important unit for providing the refinery with the flexibility to adapt quickly to market changes. However, a key constraint for the unit has been in the all-important cracking reaction: specifically, the ability to get larger molecules into the zeolite catalyst’s narrow micropores and quickly remove them after cracking to the desired products is complete.
As refiners increase processing severity in response to emerging requirements, the limitations of the catalytic material have diminished the molecular conversion efficiency and reduced product yields. This webinar reveals how an exciting new nano-engineered technology, Shell’s Molecular Access Catalysts for Hydrocracking (MACH), has unlocked this constraint and describes the valuable opportunities this creates for refiners.