Special Issue "Fluid Catalytic Cracking"

A special issue of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Maen Husein
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
Interests: Heavy oil and bitumen upgrading; thermal cracking; hydrocracking; nanoparticle application for catalysis, enhanced oil recovery, drilling fluids, and cement; wastewater treatment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fluid catalytic cracking is an important unit for residue conversion into more useful light fractions. The H:C ratio of the product is increased through rejecting carbon atoms from the feed. Unconventional oil, including heavy oil and bitumen, constitutes more than 50 per cent of the current proven oil reserves and their market share is growing. These oils contribute large volumes of residue when processed through refineries, imposing high loads on upgrading units, including fluid catalytic cracking. Hence, there is a need for more effective upgrading units.

Despite its long history, the functionality of fluid catalytic cracking may be promoted by advancing catalyst technology, alteration of the process design and/or coupling with other upgrading processes.  

Traditional fluid catalytic crack catalysts can be doped with nanoparticle promoters, which may alter the selectivity of the cracking reactions and reduce coke formation. Moreover, a conventional catalyst material may possibly be reduced in size to a nano-scale material. At this scale, and given the operating temperature of the unit, particle aggregation as well as catalyst regeneration, collection and recycling should be properly addressed. There is also room for introducing novel catalysts or even eliminating the need for a catalyst, while still operating at reasonable temperatures and pressures. Pathways for coke recycling and/or elimination from the product stream in the absence of a catalyst also need to be considered.

Alteration of the process design relates to catalyst arrangement, e.g. fluidized bed, fixed bed, etc. It may potentially lead to proposing slurry-type liquid phase reactions as potential substituents to the traditionally high temperature gaseous-phase fluid catalytic crackers. Proper residence times and reactor volumes should be kept in mind to enable new units to easily function within the existing refinery platform.

Coupling fluid catalytic cracking with other upgrading processes may give rise to new processes suited, in addition to refineries, to stand-alone operation. Stand-alone processes are effective for providing on-site partial upgrading, which is essential for achieving pumpable oil standards, especially given the volumes of high viscosity oil produced nowadays.

Prof. Maen Husein
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Catalysts is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Thermal cracking and catalytic cracking
  • Residue conversion
  • Partial upgrading
  • Hydrogen donor molecules and solvents
  • Fluidized bed reactors
  • Packed bed reactors
  • Coking
  • Catalyst poisoning
  • Heteroatom removal

Published Papers (4 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
Catalytic Cracking of n-Hexadecane Using Carbon Nanostructures/Nano-Zeolite-Y Composite Catalyst
Catalysts 2020, 10(12), 1385; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10121385 - 28 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 441
Abstract
Zeolite-based catalysts are usually utilized in the form of a composite with binders, such as alumina, silica, clay, and others. However, these binders are usually known to block the accessibility of the active sites in zeolites, leading to a decreased effective surface area [...] Read more.
Zeolite-based catalysts are usually utilized in the form of a composite with binders, such as alumina, silica, clay, and others. However, these binders are usually known to block the accessibility of the active sites in zeolites, leading to a decreased effective surface area and agglomeration of zeolite particles. The aim of this work is to utilize carbon nanostructures (CNS) as a binding material for nano-zeolite-Y particles. The unique properties of CNS, such as its high surface area, thermal stability, and flexibility of its fibrous structure, makes it a promising material to hold and bind the nano-zeolite particles, yet with a contemporaneous accessibility of the reactants to the porous zeolite structure. In the current study, a nano-zeolite-Y/CNS composite catalyst was fabricated through a ball milling approach. The catalyst possesses a high surface area of 834 m2/g, which is significantly higher than the conventional commercial cracking catalysts. Using CNS as a binding material provided homogeneous distribution of the zeolite nanoparticles with high accessibility to the active sites and good mechanical stability. In addition, CNS was found to be an effective binding material for nano-zeolite particles, solving their major drawback of agglomeration. The nano-zeolite-Y/CNS composite showed 80% conversion for hexadecane catalytic cracking into valuable olefins and hydrogen gas, which was 14% higher compared to that of pure nano-zeolite-Y particles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Catalytic Cracking)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Development of FTIR Spectroscopy Methodology for Characterization of Boron Species in FCC Catalysts
Catalysts 2020, 10(11), 1327; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10111327 - 15 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 531
Abstract
Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) has maintained its crucial role in refining decades after its initial introduction owing to the flexibility it has as a process as well as the developments in its key enabler, the FCC catalyst. Boron-based technology (BBT) for passivation of [...] Read more.
Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) has maintained its crucial role in refining decades after its initial introduction owing to the flexibility it has as a process as well as the developments in its key enabler, the FCC catalyst. Boron-based technology (BBT) for passivation of contaminant metals in FCC catalysts represents one such development. In this contribution we describe Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) characterization of boron-containing catalysts to identify the phase and structural information of boron. We demonstrate that FTIR can serve as a sensitive method to differentiate boron trioxide and borate structures with a detection limit at the 1000 ppm level. The FTIR analysis validates that the boron in the FCC catalysts studied are in the form of small borate units and confirms that the final FCC catalyst product contains no detectable isolated boron trioxide phase. Since boron trioxide is regulated in some parts of the world, this novel FTIR methodology can be highly beneficial for further FCC catalyst development and its industrial application at refineries around the world. This new method can also be applied on systems beyond catalysts, since the characterization of boron-containing materials is needed for a wide range of other applications in the fields of glass, ceramics, semiconductors, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Catalytic Cracking)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
NiO, Fe2O3, and MoO3 Supported over SiO2 Nanocatalysts for Asphaltene Adsorption and Catalytic Decomposition: Optimization through a Simplex–Centroid Mixture Design of Experiments
Catalysts 2020, 10(5), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10050569 - 19 May 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1081
Abstract
The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of functionalized silica nanoparticles with Fe2O3, NiO, and MoO3 metal oxides on the decomposition of asphaltenes, through an experimental simplex–centroid mixture design for surface area, asphaltene adsorption, [...] Read more.
The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of functionalized silica nanoparticles with Fe2O3, NiO, and MoO3 metal oxides on the decomposition of asphaltenes, through an experimental simplex–centroid mixture design for surface area, asphaltene adsorption, and activation energy. The experimental nanoparticle surface area was measured by adsorption of N2. Adsorption isotherms, and the subsequent oxidation process of asphaltenes, were performed through batch adsorption experiments and thermogravimetric analysis, respectively. Among the monometallic systems, the presence of iron increased the affinity between the nanoparticle and the asphaltenes, and a higher metal oxide load increased the adsorptive capacity of the system. For the pairings evaluated, there was better synergy between iron and nickel, with the participation of the former being slightly superior. In the mixture design that included three transition elements, the participation of molybdenum was not significant, and the adsorption of asphaltenes was dominated by the active sites formed by the other two transition element oxides. The mixture design created to minimize the activation energy showed that the interaction of the three transition elements is important and can be evidenced in the interaction coefficients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Catalytic Cracking)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Partial Upgrading of Athabasca Bitumen Using Thermal Cracking
Catalysts 2019, 9(5), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9050431 - 09 May 2019
Viewed by 1608
Abstract
The current industry practice is to mix bitumen with a diluent in order to reduce its viscosity before it can be pumped to refineries and upgraders. The recovery of the diluent and its recycling to the producers, on the other hand, pose major [...] Read more.
The current industry practice is to mix bitumen with a diluent in order to reduce its viscosity before it can be pumped to refineries and upgraders. The recovery of the diluent and its recycling to the producers, on the other hand, pose major environmental and economic concerns. Hence, onsite partial upgrading of the extracted bitumen to pipeline specifications presents an attractive alternative. In this work, thermal cracking of Athabasca bitumen was carried out in an autoclave at 400 °C, 420 °C and 440 °C in presence and absence of drill cuttings catalyst. At 400 °C, despite no coke formation, the reduction in viscosity was insufficient, whereas at 440 °C, the coke yield was significant, ~20 wt.%. A balance between yield and viscosity was found at 420 °C, with 88 ± 5 wt.% liquid, ~5 wt.% coke and a liquid viscosity and °API gravity of 60 ± 20 cSt and 23 ± 3, respectively. Additionally, the sulfur content and the Conradson carbon residue were reduced by 25% and 10%, respectively. The catalytic thermal cracking at 420 °C further improved the quality of the liquid product to 40 ± 6 cSt and 25 ± 2 °API gravity, however at slightly lower liquid yield of 86 ± 6 wt.%. Both catalytic and non-catalytic cracking provide a stable liquid product, which by far exceeds pipeline standards. Although small relative to the energy required for upgrading in general, the pumping energy requirement for the partially upgraded bitumen was 3 times lower than that for diluted bitumen. Lastly, a 5-lump, 6-reaction, kinetic model developed earlier by our group successfully predicted the conversion of the bitumen to the different cuts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Catalytic Cracking)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Back to TopTop