Sie sind auf Seite 1von 2

USE OF SOLVENT DEASPHALTING PROCESS IN

RESIDUES CONVERSION SCHEMES


A. Billon, F. Morel, J. P. Pries, Institut Franais du Ptrole, France
Abstract. Solvent deasphalting is a proven process for extracting a high purity deasphalted oil (DAO) from
atmospheric or vacuum residues. The residual asphalt concentrates asphaltenes, metals and other contaminants.
The yields and qualities of DAO and asphalt are linked to the nature of solvent, extractor design, operating
conditions and structure of the residue. The range of solvents vary from light hydrocarbons (C3 and C4) to light
gasoline. The extractor can be a column designed to allow an optimal throughput and selectivity or a simple
mixer-settler. The operating conditions (mainly solvent ratio and operating temperature) allow to adjust the
yields and product qualities. The separation of DAO from the solvent is operated preferentially at opticritical
conditions for saving the maximum energy.
The flexibility to get various yields and product makes the solvent deasphalting process to be a masterpiece in
residues upgrading schemes. It can be associated with residues hydrotreating processes, either in fixed bed or
ebullating bed, and with catalytic cracking units. The position of the deasphalting unit can be either in upstream
of the hydrotreating unit, or in downstream. Several process combinations including a deasphalting unit to
achieve any target as a function of the feedstock characteristics and product specification.

INTRODU CTION

Solvent deasphalting is a proven process for


extracting a high purity deasphalted oil (DAO) from
atmospheric or vacuum residues. The residual
asphalt concentrates asphaltenes, metals and other
contaminants. As a general trend, when the DAO
yield increases, its purity decreases while asphalt
becomes harder and more difficult to handle.
The content of metals and coke precursors in the
DAO is significantly lower than in the residue, but
the main quality concern is its C5 and C7 insoluble
content. It is well established that these insoluble
products are the key factor in determining the operating conditions of downstream hydrotreating processes. Values of less than 0.05 wt% of C7 insoluble
are often considered acceptable.
The yields and qualities of DAO and asphalt are
linked to the nature of solvent, extractor design,
operating conditions and structure of the residue.
The range of solvents varies from light hydrocarbons
(C3-C5) to light gasoline. The heavier the solvent,
the higher the DAO yield will be. The solvent ratio is
a key factor as it has a big impact on the quality of
the DAO. The extractor can be a column designed to
allow an optimal throughput and selectivity or a
simple mixer-settler. The adjustment of the extractor
temperature profile allows to finely adjust the yields
and product qualities. Elsewhere, as the solvent is to
be recycled in the unit, the separation of solvent from

the DAO is operated preferentially at supercritical


conditions for saving the maximum amount of
energy.
The flexibility to get various yields and products
makes the solvent deasphalting process a masterpiece
in residues upgrading schemes. It can be associated
with residues hydroconversion processes, with fluid
catalytic cracking units and with asphalt partial oxidation units. The position of the deasphalting unit
can be either upstream of the hydroconversion unit,
or downstream. Several process combinations,
including a deasphalting unit can permit achieving
any target with regards to the feedstock characteristics and the product specification.
A first residue upgrading scheme involves the
deasphalting unit in the stream position:
-

C5 solvent deasphalting of the vacuum residue in


view of producing the maximum yield of DAO and
an asphalt residue,
Hydrotreatment of the deasphalted oil to produce
a highly purified feedstock for an FCC unit. The
hydrotreatment is preferentially a low pressure
unit as the feedstock is highly purified through the
deasphalting unit. The reactors can be fixed bed or
ebullated bed, thus allowing higher yields of distillate products,
Fluid catalytic cracking of the hydrotreated
product in order to manufacture the maximum
yield of gasoline,
943

944
-

NO N-CATA LYTI C R EFI NIN G TECH NO LOGY ADVAN CES

Partial oxidation of the asphalt to fully achieve the


residue conversion and to generate the high quantity of hydrogen required in the process of residue
upgrading.

This scheme requires limited investment, but it is


handicapped by the high amount of asphalt.
A second scheme involves the deasphalting unit set
in downstream of a direct residue hydroconversion
unit:
-

Hydroconversion of the vacuum residue. This step


allows to refine the residue and to produce significant quantity of good quality distillates. Due to
the very refractory behaviour of the virgin residue,
the hydroconversion unit requires high levels of
pressure and residence time. The reactors can
utilize fixed bed or ebullated bed technology,
Solvent deasphalting of the unconverted hydrotreated vacuum residue in order to separate it into
DAO and asphalt,
Residue fluid catalytic cracking of the DAO mixed
with the hydrotreated vacuum gas-oil in view of
manufacturing the maximum yield in gasoline,
Partial oxidation of the asphalt.

With this scheme, the overall conversion into light


products is very high and the yield Of aspha1t is
largely reduced in comparison with the previous
scheme. The hydrogen production fits into the
overall material balance of the refinery. However, the
corresponding investment and operating cost are
high.

[I 71P7

A third approach is a compromise between the


two previous schemes, as it involves low severity
direct hydroconversion of the vacuum residue. This
process combination consists of:
Low residence time hydroconversion of the
vacuum residue. This solution allows to deeply
reduce the investment in comparison with the previous scheme due to the lower reactor volume. The
process can still be fixed bed or ebullated bed. This
step allows a moderate refining of the residue combined with a moderate production of good quality
distillates,
- Solvent deasphalting of the unconverted hydrotreated vacuum residue in order to separate it into
DAO and asphalt,
- Low pressure hydrotreatment of the deasphalted
oil, producing a highly purified feedstock for an
FCC unit. This hydrotreatment can also be considered in fixed bed or with an ebullated bed technology, thus allowing higher yields of distillate
products,
- Fluid catalytic cracking of the residual hydrotreated product in order to produce the maximum
yield of gasoline,
- Partial oxidation of the asphalt.

This scheme presentsthe advantage obtaining good


yields and product qualities while reducing the
overall operating cost.