Shell announces FCC process that raises diesel, propylene yields

David N. Nakamura
Refining/Petrochemical Editor

HOUSTON, Apr. 17 -- Shell Global Solutions International BV announced the development of a new process to increase production of diesel and propylene from FCC units.

The middle distillates and lower olefins selective process (MILOS) uses an additional riser in the FCC, either in a revamp or grassroots unit, which gives the refiner options to simultaneously maximize production of diesel and propylene.

"Changing market demands for less gasoline and more diesel and propylene has proved difficult to achieve with the traditional and inflexible layout of the standard FCC. MILOS addresses this by providing the refiner an operational choice," said Mart Nieskens, global manager, catayltic cracking at Shell Global Solutions (US) Inc. (SGS). "The process is designed to be simple and easy to change between modes to help provide greater flexibility."

According to Shell, refiners can run an FCC in different modes with the new process. In the propylene mode, propylene production can double compared with a base-case FCC unit while maintaining traditional diesel yields and quality.

In diesel mode, diesel production can increase up to 20% with a seven point rise in cetane number and increased propylene production. The FCC unit can run anywhere between these modes or revert to normal FCC operation by changing operating parameters.

"The MILOS process should be particularly attractive to refineries linked to petrochemical complexes," said Pankaj Desai, SGS licensing sales manager. "Moreover, because it's designed to provide increased flexibility, the MILOS process can help refiners to take advantage of the seasonal demand patterns."

Feed to the additional riser can be different feedstocks, such as FCC naphtha, coker naphtha, visbreaker naphtha, vegetable oil, and GTL process products, or even paraffinic vacuum gas oil, according to Shell.

Contact David N. Nakamura at

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