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Chementator: This process improvement speeds up delayed coking

By Edited by Gerald Ondrey |

Decoking in a delayed coker operation is a laborious process that can take up to 18 h. A new method that reduces the time to 6 h has been developed by US Cokertech, LLC (Norman, Okla.). This effectively triples capacity for the same drum size, says Kazem Ganji, president. In a conventional delayed coker, residual or heavy oil in a petroleum refinery is pumped through a tube furnace at 900–940°F into one of two parallel coke drums. Vapors pass to a fractionator, and coke accumulates in the drum. When the drum is full it is taken offline for decoking, and the feed is redirected to the second drum. In decoking, the drum is purged with steam to remove volatile material, filled with water to cool the coke, then the drum is drained and the solid coke is removed by a hydraulic cutter. Cokertech’s Improved Delayed Coker Unit (IDCU) cuts the decoking time and reduces operating costs by eliminating the cooling and hydraulic cutting steps. Instead, steam is injected into the top of the drum to maintain the drum pressure at 50 psig, a valve is opened at the bottom of the drum, and the coke is pushed out by the steam (diagram). "At that temperature (above 900°F) the coke is basically a powder, so it’s easily removed,"…
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