What is Catalyst Pinning?

Feedback on my last blog “Can Feed Sulfur be Both Good and Bad,” led to our new topic on catalyst pinning. This is a great topic suggested by a LinkedIn connection.  With that, I went to the Internet and searched for articles published on “Catalyst Pinning”. I found several, but they were all scholarly articles that […]

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Can Feed Sulfur Be Both Good And Bad?

This blog provides some historical context to my previous blog,  Metal Catalyzed Coking and feed Sulfur (S) requirements. Moreover, I will also address the flip-side of too little feed S and discuss the impact of too much and its effect on catalyst performance. I’ll also cover how catalyst Surface Area (SA) impacts the recovery from […]

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Metal Catalyzed Coking (MCC)

A look back on my career and customers that faced significant MCC formation/damage and insight into how to avoid the same fate. Metal Catalyzed Coking is a term that is known by most within the Catalytic Naphtha Reforming community. Particularly those that run in Aromatics Mode, but also those that run in Motor Fuels. MCC is unique […]

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Proactively Preventing Reactor Runaway Events

A quantitative method for selecting emergency actions could prevent hydrocracker reactor temperature excursion and runaway while avoiding flaring. Recently published article in PTQ Q3 2023 Issue (digitalrefining.com). An excerpt from the article is below… Refiners use multiple emergency actions to react to a reactor temperature excursion or reactor runaway in a hydrocracking unit. Automatic depressuring […]

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Evaluating Purchased Feedstocks for Hydrocrackers and Hydrotreaters

I had multiple requests to discuss how to evaluate purchased feedstocks for hydroprocessing units.  As always, I’ll present some ideas and welcome further comments and thoughts. Jack be nimble, Jack be quick! In my background, the question of whether to purchase a feedstock for a hydroprocessing unit comes up with very little notice and sometimes […]

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Properties of Castable Refractories

Refractory linings are common throughout the refinery and found in many different units including the FCCU, fired heaters, and Claus thermal reactors. In the previous posting of Becht Blogs: Refractory series, we gave a cursory overview of several refractory types and where they are typically applied (Introduction to Refractory). These materials come from the family […]

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Hydroprocessing Relief Issues: Chapter 3 – Vapor and Liquid Blow-Through to Distillation

This is the third of 3 articles discussing relief issues for Hydroprocessing Units. Last month we discussed Separator Blow-through. As discussed, the five main lessons from that article are: Relief valves on low-pressure separators must be designed for vapor blow-through The design vapor blow-through rate must consider all potentially open level-control valves and bypass valves […]

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FCCU Reliability Challenges Now and in the Future

Article appears in the March/April 2023 issue of Inspectioneering Journal Introduction Fluid catalytic cracking units (FCCUs) have been fundamental to refinery operations and economics for many decades, with the very oldest operating units achieving 70 years of service. With no new refineries on the horizon for the United States and operating demands changing, maintaining these […]

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Energy Efficiency in Terminals

Refining and upstream are large industries, but the world of terminals is a bit different. The terminal industry is shaped by multiple regulations and the focus is on turning the assets as quickly as possible, meeting contractual obligations, and avoiding demurrage. Energy efficiency has not traditionally been an area of focus in the midstream terminals […]

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