Hydrotreating /Hydrocracking Technologies and Challenges
There are many hydrotreating/hydrocracking technologies available to refineries and petrochemical plants. The capital cost and the operating and maintenance costs of these units are very high. The IUT Technology can (depending on the feedstock) either replace conventional hydrotreatment processes, or be used in conjuction with such processes(either before or after), to realize better grades of products for lesser costs. For example, most of the sulphur in gasoline is derived from FCC naphtha. Therefore, to achieve 10ppm or lower sulphur in gasoline, refineries are focusing on treating either FCC feed or FCC naphtha. Many technologies for pre-treating are commercially proven and widely used. Post-treating technologies can be categorized by the type of desulphurization chemistry and by the extent to which they are commercially proven.
Conventional Hydrotreating/hydrocracking has been in commercial service for a long time. Volumetric yields are about 100%, but a high degree of desulphurization can result in an octane loss of about 10 numbers. In addition, hydrocarbon streams must be slowed, thus increasing capital expenditures. This technology is not considered an acceptable post-treating option to meet the new standards of less than 10ppm products. The challenges of hydrotreating are: