FCC slurries

In modern refineries, fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) is a process by which refineries convert residual oils from the atmospheric and vacuum distillation columns into more valuable gasolines and middle distillates. Here, long-chain hydrocarbons are cracked using pulverized catalysts such as aluminum and silicates.

FCC devices produce a by-product - distillation bottom products like aromatic and high-viscosity oils, most often in the form of complex oil emulsions. However, such suspensions of oil products have their value and are used as feedstock for the production of bunker fuel (blended) by companding. FCC sludge can be recycled and used as refinery feedstock, and also marketed as a feedstock for pure carbon production or as refinery fuel.

The key to upgrading the FCC sludge to a higher quality product is the removal of catalysts such as aluminum and silicon and other ash forming elements. High speed disc separators from GEA are used to effectively remove these contaminants.

Cleaning with centrifugal separators from GEA showed a separation efficiency of 90% for particles smaller than 5 microns. The FCC sludge becomes a valuable product, which provides additional profit for the refinery.

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