FCC carbon dioxide pilot trial starts up in Brazil

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Apr. 8
-- An industry research group has started a pilot-scale trial of oxycombustion as a way to lower emissions of carbon dioxide from refinery fluid catalytic cracking units.

The CO2 Capture Project (CCP) is testing a full-burn FCCU at a Petrobras research complex in Parana, Brazil. It expects the project to confirm the technical and economic viability of retrofitting an FCCU to allow CO2 capture through oxycombustion.

It hopes the test to advance a technology able to capture as much as 95% of FCC CO2 emissions, which can be 20-30% of all emissions from a typical refinery.

A normal FCCU regenerates catalyst by burning off deposited coke in air. With oxycombustion, pure oxygen, diluted with recycled CO2 to maintain thermal balance and catalyst fluidization, replaces air.

The project will test start-up and shut-down procedures and different operational conditions and process configurations. Scheduled for completion at the end of May, it will provide data for scale-up of the technology.

The pilot FCCU can process 33 b/d of hydrocarbon feed, emitting 1 ton/day of CO2. It has an adiabatic riser, stripper, and regenerator.

CCP members are BP PLC, Chevron Corp., Eni SPA, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Suncor Energy Inc., and ConocoPhillips. The Electric Power Research Institute is an associate member.

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