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Continuously replace spent FCC catalyst with this magnetic separator

By Chemical Engineering |

Nippon Oil Corp. (Tokyo, Japan; edlinks.chemengonline.com/6892-538) has completed a confirmation test of a magnetic-separation process that selectively removes spent FCC (fluid-catalytic-cracking) catalysts from actives ones. The process runs continuously and requires no shutdown of the FCC unit; normally, FCC catalysts have to be replaced periodically, which sometimes requires interruption of the FCC operation. The process was demonstrated in a commercial (40,000 bbl/d) FCC unit at the Sendai Refinery (Sendai, Japan), in a project supported by the Japan Petroleum Energy Center (Tokyo). In the test, the separation process reduced the volume of catalyst that needed to be disposed of by about 30% compared to that discarded by normal FCC operations, says Nippon Oil. In FCC reactors, heavy metals, such as Ni, Va, and Fe, accumulate on the catalyst causing the activity and selectivity to deteriorate. Because nickel is ferromagnetic and nickel oxides are paramagnetic, deposits of these and other metals on the catalyst can be attracted to a strong magnetic field, leaving behind fresh catalyst (which is diamagnetic), explains the company. The magnetic separator is composed of a 1.2-m-dia. rotating disc (carousel ring) with compartments (a…
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