Regulating the crude oil–to–chemical process in a multizone fluidized bed reactor using unconventional catalyst formulations

by Cui, Dikhtiarenko, Kulkarni, Shoinkhorova, Al Aslani, Alabdullah, Mazumder, Medina Flores, Alahmadi, Alfilfil, Morales-Osorio, Almajnouni, Gascon, Castaño
Powder Tech. Year: 2024 DOI:


Crude oil catalytic cracking to petrochemicals in one step is a profitable pathway for future refineries yet it has significant hurdles. We investigated adding silicon carbide to the formulation and adjusting the crude oil–to–chemicals process in a multizone fluidized bed reactor by improving the morphology for hydrodynamics and thermal conductivity for heat transfer to promote the catalytic cracking performance. First, we synthesized and characterized catalysts with various SiC sizes and contents to select the best based on morphology. Then, we compared this catalyst against an industrial benchmark catalyst using computational particle fluid dynamics to understand the catalyst circulation and heat transfer in realistic crude oil–to–chemicals process conditions. Finally, we performed catalytic cracking experiments using this catalyst and the benchmark under optimal conditions. The higher light olefin yield from the unconventional catalyst formulation validated our workflow for regulating the crude oil–to–chemical process.