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Kinetic Modeling of Hydrotreating for Enhanced Upgrading of Light Cycle Oil

Palos, Roberto, Gutiérrez, Alazne, Hita, Idoia, Castaño, Pedro, Thybaut, Joris W., Arandes, José M., Bilbao, Javier
Industrial & engineering chemistry process design and development 2019 v.58 no.29 pp. 13064-13075
catalysts, fuels, hydrogen, kinetics, models, oils, prediction, process design
The hydrotreating of light cycle oil (LCO) into high-quality fuels has been investigated experimentally and kinetically, developing a model that accounts for the main and simultaneous reaction pathways: hydrodesulfurization (HDS), hydrodearomatization (HDA), and hydrocracking (HC). The experiments have been carried out in a fixed-bed reactor, NiMo/SiO₂–Al₂O₃ commercial catalyst, 320–400 °C; 80 bar; space time, 0–0.5 gcₐₜ h gLCO–¹; and H₂/LCO volumetric ratio of 1000 Ncm³ cm–³. The proposed kinetic model contains multiple lumps, species, and pathways, leading to the faithful prediction of hydrotreatment products from different viewpoints. The computed kinetic parameters have allowed for simulating the process and seeking the optimal operating conditions. This way, the maximum values obtained for the conversions of HDS, HDA, and HC have been of 90%, 20%, and 65%, respectively; whereas a good compromise between the different hydrotreating goals has been obtained in the 385–400 °C range for a space time of 0.2 gcₐₜ h gLCO–¹. Finally, the obtained optimal operating conditions have been compared with those optimized in the literature.