Catalytic reforming has been a staple in petroleum refining since 1949. Refiners are looking for next-generation catalysts that increase the productivity and performance of their existing semi-regenerative reforming operations. In many cases, these catalysts must reliably process increasingly difficult feeds, accommodate multiple sources of crudes and naphthas, and bounce back from reformer unit upsets. For these circumstances, a robust catalyst with an extended cycle length that can withstand feed contaminations is an excellent option.
To meet this demand, a proprietary fixed-bed reforming catalyst (1) was introduced into the market in 2015. This catalyst is commercially proven in more than 20 reforming units with full reloads, exhibiting superior performance, allowing flexible unit operation with extended cycle lengths and bringing optimal value to refiners. The catalyst's robust performance has been commercially demonstrated for more than 3 yr, delivering high activity at maximized cycle lengths with a wide range of feeds at varied operating severities.
The catalyst is a high-performance platinum-rhenium reforming catalyst with no promoter. It brings high yields over the cycle and high reforming activity, while exhibiting a high tolerance to feed contaminants. The catalyst provides extended cycle lengths with excellent yield stability, showing very low yield decline over a cycle. Robust and easy to regenerate, the trilobe-shaped catalyst is meeting customer needs and gaining rapid commercial acceptance.
The following discusses the catalyst's commercial applications at refineries across the globe, focusing on the first commercial use at the Bayernoil refinery in Neustadt, Germany.
History. The proprietary catalyst is based on the author company's previously-commercialized semi-regenerative reforming catalyst (b). This catalyst has been used in more than 200 applications, and has an industry reputation of rugged performance and easy regenerability. The latest catalyst builds upon that excellence by further improving performance stability and catalyst activity, while providing improved reforming yields.
This new catalyst is a high-performance platinum-rhenium reforming catalyst with no promoter. It uses a trilobe shape to overcome diffusion limitations. With well-dispersed metals on the trilobe shape, catalyst stability is further improved compared to cylindrical extrudate geometry. It also provides an improvement in activity and yields, compared to its predecessor.
Most importantly, the new catalyst provides the longest cycle length of all the author company's reforming catalysts. Reloading with this commercially proven catalyst will extend the period between regenerations, leading to improved cycle performance and excellent yield stability. Compared with previous-generation reforming catalysts, it also offers refiners the flexibility to accomplish the following:
* Increase reformate octane
* Process difficult feeds without compromising the planned cycle length
* Increase the feed endpoint or run with a leaner feed
* Decrease operating pressure (within compression limits) for improved yields
* Resist feed contaminant upsets and sustain fluctuations between varying octane severities
* Delay the catalyst regeneration to a more favorable gasoline production period
* Maintain reforming hydrogen purity for a longer period.
The catalyst is a skewed platinum-rhenium reforming catalyst with good tolerance against catalyst poisons and no proprietary promoter. Skewed metal catalysts are well known to be more stable than balanced metal catalysts, which are typically prone...