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Fluid catalytic cracking (FCC)

Fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) is widely used in petroleum refineries to convert the high boiling point, long molecular hydrocarbon fractions to more valuable gasoline, olefinic gases and other products.
The FCC process vaporises and breaks the long-chain molecules into much shorter molecules by contacting feedstock at high temperature and moderate pressure, with a fluidised catalyst.The coke produced in cracking reactions deposits on the catalyst and very quickly reduces the catalyst reactivity. The spent catalyst is regenerated by burning off deposited coke in the regenerator. The activated catalyst is then blown back to the reactor for repeated use.The flue gas exiting from the regenerator is processed through multiple cyclones to remove residual catalyst.Catalyst regeneration control is a critical task in FCC process. The common practice is to measure oxygen (O2) concentration of the regenerator off-gas. If O2 is insufficient, the deposited coke may not completely combusted, while an excess O2 will cause over-temperature and reduce the life and activity of the catalyst. Measurement of carbon monoxide(CO) and carbon dioxide(CO2) in regenerator off-gas can help calculate how much coke formed in the process. The yield of coke formation reflects the grade of crude oil, and the resulting data can be used as input to optimise FCC processes. Ammonia (NH3) slip is measured at the outlet of the SCR reactor to control DeNOx process.

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