Delayed Coking

Delayed coking pilot plant services (units P2 and P3)

Process Description:

Delayed coking is a refinery process for upgrading lower value bottom of the barrel petroleum derivatives to higher valued products which includes a solid petroleum coke and lighter, more valuable, petroleum liquids.

The type of coke that can be produced is dependent on the feedstock quality and process conditions used but can be either generate anode grade (low in contaminants) or fuel grade (high in contaminants) petroleum coke. The morphology of the petroleum coke that can be produced is honeycomb, needle, shot, or sponge microstructures.

The lighter, more valuable petroleum liquids produced can then be separated and routed into the naphtha, distillate and gasoil upgrading systems.

Unit Description:

Unit P2 is a continuous pilot plant with 3-80 liter coke drums in parallel that includes a downstream distillation train (a flash tower, a stabilizer and two atmospheric towers) that can be used to generate a bottoms stream for simulating a recycle operation. Unit P3 is a continuous pilot plant with a single 5 liter coke drum and does not have an integrated downstream distillation train.

The core design specifications for units P2 and P3 are as follows:

Unit IDFeed Rate - MinimumFeed Rate - MaximumCoke Drum Inlet
Temperature - Maximum
Coke Drum Pressure -
Unit P21.0 L/h (0.26 gal/h)5.0 L/h (1.32 gal/h)537.8 °C (1,000 °F)13.9 bar (200 psig)
Unit P30.4 L/h (0.10 gal/h)1.0 L/h (0.26 gal/h)537.8 °C (1000 °F)13.9 bar (200 psig)

Additional attributes to note:

  • Unit P2:
    • Adiabatic coke drum heaters for simulation of commercial operation.
    • Can include slip streams of nitrogen or steam.
    • Online refinery gas analyzer for speciating C1 through C5.
  • Unit P3:
    • Can operate batchwise with as little as 1 liter of feedstock.
    • Can include slip streams of nitrogen or steam.
    • Offline refinery gas analyzer for speciating C1 through C5.

Analytical Support:

Analytical types and frequency are performed on an as needed basis to ensure that customers are getting only the data they need when they need it. Onsite and external analytical support options are available for characterization and unit control purposes.

In-house analytical support for unit control and external analytical support via the Intertek network of laboratories is as follows:

  • D1319 FIA
  • D287 API gravity
  • D2887 GC Distillation
  • D3279 Heptane insolubles
  • D445 Kinematic viscosity
  • D5950 Pour point
  • D6352 GC Distillation
  • D70 Density
  • D893A Pentane insolubles
  • D893B Toluene insolubles
Intertek network:
  • D291 Bulk density
  • D3172 Proximate analysis
  • D3176 Ultimate analysis
  • D409 Hardgrove grindability
  • D4239 Sulfur (solids)
  • D4294 Sulfur (liquids)
  • D4530 MCRT
  • D482 Ash
  • D6374 Volatile matter

Common Project Types:

This unit has been used for both the generation of process data and also the production of samples (ranging from several liters to multiple drums) which can include:

  • Unit P2:
    • Production of drum quantities for subsequent pilot plant testing.
    • Generate design data to support commercial scale up.
  • Unit P3:
    • Production of liter quantities.
    • Feedstock screening.
    • Process condition evaluations.

Project Examples:

  • Biocrude Delayed-Coking
    Various routes are available for converting biomass into transportation fuels. One approach is to combine PetroAlgae biocrude with resid and co-process the blend in a delayed coker to produce coker distillates. PetroAlgae, a renewable energy company, uses proprietary micro-crop growth technology to grow a wide variety of local aquatic microorganisms in open pond bioreactors. This would potentially enable the commercial-scale production of two end-products: a renewable fuel feedstock referred to as biocrude, and a protein product used for animal feed and human food. The biocrude, co-processed with the resid, is converted into coker distillates which can be further processed in existing refinery infrastructure into renewable drop-in transportation fuels.

    At PetroAlgae’s request, initial runs on Intertek Pilot Plant Services' P-3 batch delayed coker unit processed kilogram scale mixtures of biocrude and resid. Positive results led to follow-up tests on Intertek’s larger P-2 continuous delayed coker unit to process larger quantities of biocrude/resid mixtures. These batch and subsequent once-through tests confirmed that algae biocrude admixed with resid could be successfully co-processed via delayed coking.

    The client reported that “Collaboration between Intertek and PetroAlgae was an important early step in demonstrating biomass delayed coking as a viable refinery process option.”

Need help or have a question? +1 800 967 5352

Need help or have a question?

+1 800 967 5352
+44 161 721 5247
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0800 5855888
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+41 61 686 4800
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