Measuring density and level in resid hydrocrackers

Density and level measurement in resid hydrocracking processes


Measuring density in resid hydrocracking

The resid hydrocracking process is becoming more and more important to refiners since it allows a higher conversion rate than other heavy oil conversion processes. It is used to crack heavy fractions to achieve lighter and more valuable products. There are many different processes and technologies established in the market but radiometric measurements from Berthold are applied in all of them.

Measuring the level and density on different elevations

To achieve optimum control of the cracking taking place inside the hydrocracking reactor the level of hydrocarbons, catalyst and gas is monitored by means of multiple density measurements along the reactor height. The radiometric density gauges from Berthold are very fast responding and are capable of measuring smallest density changes down to a resolution of ≤0.002 g/cm3.

EmulsionSENS - Multiple point sources inserted in dip pipe outside the reactorEmulsionSENS - Multiple point sources inserted in dip pipe outside the reactor

Measuring level and density in resid hydrocrackers - Customer benefit

Our Berthold solution:
EmulsionSENS - Multiphase level measurement,
radiometric density systems with multiple sources in dip pipe


  • Maximum process transparency 
  • Reliable control over the cracking process
  • Increased throughput and availability
  • Efficient utilization of catalyst

Characteristics of Berthold level and density in resid hydrocracking

  • Multiple point sources inserted in dip pipe
  • Density detectors mounted outside the reactor
  • Typically a reduction of the vessel wall is required
    for improved measurement effect
  • Highly accurate density reading, resolution of ≤0.002 g/cm3
  • Very fast responding measurement
  • SIL2 / SIL3 certified detectors 


Further applications in ebullated bed hydrocrackers and slurry hydrocrackers:

Various thick walled vapor/liquid separators, catalyst handing vessel, various towers and in-line densities at high temperature and high pressure.
Radiometric level and density measurements are used in the separation section of the hydrocracker to ensure that proper vapor/liquid separation occurs as the pressure and temperature is lowered thorught the various separators. Radiometric measurements are also used the catalyst section of the hydrocracker to ensure the pro­per amount of catalyst is added or withdrawn from the reaction system to maintain effective cracking.




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