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Residue hydroprocessing

The majority of refinery projects include some form of hydrotreatment within the overall processing scheme. As a result we work continuously with hydrotreating process licensors and catalyst suppliers in specifying feedstocks, developing and engineering designs, and integrating hydrotreating units into processing schemes. Our expertise covers new refineries, and expansions and upgrades, and we are also expert at delivering safe projects and shutdowns to incorporate these units within operating refineries.

Residue hydroprocessing, or hydrotreating technology was originally developed to reduce the sulphur content of atmospheric residues to produce low sulphur residual fuel oil to meet specification.

Changes in crude oil quality and product demand have shifted the commercial importance of this technology to include pre-treating of downstream conversion unit feedstocks, typically for residue fluidised catalytic cracking (RFCC) to minimise catalyst replacement costs or even for residue hydrocracking processes to upgrade residue streams to product-grade qualities. Pre-treatment of coking feedstocks improves the quality and reduces the yield of by product coke, and increases yield and quality of the more valuable light fuels which are used after treatment for blending into final products.

Although residue hydrotreating units are capable of processing feedstocks having a wide range of contaminants, the feedstock's organometallic and asphaltene components typically determine its processibility. Seasonal changes to the gasoline/diesel ratio may be accommodated as residue hydrotreatment can be designed for maximum conversion to middle distillate.

Hydrogen in the syngas and that produced by means of CO shift, can be separated from sour compounds and CO2 and purified in a PSA unit. We have current expertise in designing gasification units to provide a reliable source of hydrogen.

Installing gasification and syngas cleaning units can reduce overall emissions of SOx, NOx, CO2, particulates, metals and chlorine and can produce useful products to maximise profitability. 


Amec Foster Wheeler has extensive knowledge and experience in all refining processes and technologies

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