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Chementator: Propylene or diesel fuel? Just change the controls  

By Gerald Ondrey |

Petroleum refiners can have the option to produce more diesel fuel or propylene from their fluid catalytic crackers, depending on the demand, through a new process offered by Shell Global Solutions (edlinks.chemengonline.com/7373-541). The process enables a typical FCC (processing a large percentage of residual feed) to produce up to 19.3 wt.% light cycle oil (LCO, for diesel fuel) with 10 wt.% propylene, or about 12 wt.% propylene with 15.2 wt.% LCO. In contrast, a standard FCC, using a zeolite additive (ZSM-5) to improve propylene yield, produces 8.2 wt.% propylene and 14.7% LCO, says Pankaj Desai, licensing sales manager for Shell Global Solutions (U.S.) Inc. (Houston, Tex.). He adds that the process also achieves a seven-point cetane improvement in diesel fuel. The process, called MILOS (for Middle Distillates and Lower Olefins Selective process), adds a second riser to an FCC to produce additional propylene, leaving the existing riser for regular use or the production of additional LCO. Desai points out that the diesel and propylene modes represent the opposite, extreme ends of an FCC operation, so it is impossible to achieve optimal conditions for the production of both in a single riser. MILOS allows the FCC unit to be run anywhere…
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