Reactor internals

Refinery

Includes all oil refining, distillation and enrichment processes that make its various components available for further industrial operations, such as many petrochemical processes, or for their use as fuel for civil and industrial use and for energy production. Plants are normally located onshore in strategic locations and receive the liquid hydrocarbons obtained in the Oil & Gas production plants. The main processes in which our reactor internals can be found are:

Catalytic reforming
The process objective is to convert low octane naphtha into a high octane product for blending with other petrol and/or to provide aromatics (benzene, toluene and xylene) for petrochemical plants. Reforming also produces high purity hydrogen for hydrotreating processes.
Reforming reactions occur in chloride-based fixed catalyst beds or in continuous catalyst regeneration beds (radial flow reactors) where the catalyst is transferred from one stage to the next through a catalyst regenerator.

Hydrotreating
The process objective is to remove contaminants (sulphur, nitrogen, metals) and to saturate olefins and aromatics to produce a clean product for sale or for further processing.
The hydrotreating unit removes sulphur from naphtha for use in downstream processes such as isomerization and catalytic cracking, removes sulphur from petrol and diesel to meet recent clean fuel specifications, removes sulphur from kerosene for home heating and converts kerosene to jet fuels via a mild aromatic saturation process.
The feed, supplemented with hydrogen, is made to flow from the top to the bottom of the hydrogenation reactor (down flow reactor) through various types of catalysts according to the reactions required. The hydrotreating unit removes all contaminants and saturates the aromatics as a pre-treatment for the Fluid Catalytic Cracking loads.

Hydrocracking
The process objective is to remove contaminants (nitrogen, sulphur, metals) and to convert low value gas oils into valuable products (naphtha, middle distillates, and ultra clean lubricant base stocks).
The hydrocracking unit receives feed from the vacuum distillation unit. The first phase is hydrogenation of the load on fixed catalytic beds for hydrotreating to remove sulphur, nitrogen and metals. This phase is generally followed by one or more hydrocracking reactors with fixed bed catalysts (down flow reactors) in order to dealkylate the aromatic rings, open the naphthenic ring structures and break down the paraffin bonds.
Products obtained in this way are essentially light ends (sold as LPG), naphtha (sold as petrol or sent to the catalytic reforming unit) and diesel.

Alkylation
This process aims to combine light olefins (propylene and butylene) with isobutane to obtain high octane petrol (alkylates) in a fixed bed catalytic reactor with hydrofluoric or sulphuric acid (down flow reactor).
The alkylation unit receives feed from the Fluid Catalytic Cracking unit and produces light ends (sold as LPG) and high octane petrol.

Isomerization
This process aims to convert low octane n-paraffin into high octane iso-paraffin.
Isomerization occurs in a fixed bed reactor and is facilitated by the presence of chlorides (radial flow reactors).
The catalyst is sensitive to contaminants such as sulphur and water, therefore the isomerization unit receives feed from the hydrotreating unit.
The isomerization process produces light ends (sold as LPG), high octane petrol, isobutane (that can be used in the alkylation process) and hydrogen (that can be used in Hydrotreating).