Measuring level and density in fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC)

Level and density measuring in fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC)

Fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCC) is one of the most important conversion process used in petroleum refineries, In the FCC, the catalyst circulates between reactor and regenerator to ensure efficient conversion. Radiometric level measurements from Berthold are applied on several sections, e.g. on the cyclone separator, on the regenerator, electrostatic precipitation hoppers and on the regenerated standpipe. The ability of the radiometric devices to measure solid catalyst under the high tempera­tures needed in a FCC, makes it the ideal measurement solution to maintain safe and reliable operation.

Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC)

Measuring the level of catalyst fines in a cyclone separator

Catalyst fines have to be removed from the regenerator flue gas to fulfill regulatory requirements and to protect downstream equipment. Thus cyclonic separators are used filtering out the remaining catalyst fines. The solid particles settle down at the bottom of the separator, their level is controlled by radiometric level systems from Berthold. The non-contacting technology is ideally suited for this kind of application since dust and temperature have no impact on the measurement performance.

Measuring level in fluidized catalytic cracking units (FCC) - Customer benefit
 

  • Improved catalyst removal
  • Reliable process control
  • Ideal utilitzation of vessel capacity
     

Characteristics of Berthold level measurement in fluid catalytic cracking (FCC)

  • Continuous level measurement, typically 2...4 m measuring range

  • Installed at the bottom conical part

  • Typical arrangement uses Cs-137 point sources and scintillation rod detectors
  • Non-contacting, non-intrusive technologyRadiometric level of catalyst fines in cyclone separatorsRadiometric level of catalyst fines in cyclone separators
  • High repeatability and long-term stability due to automatic stabilization technology based on cosmic radiation
  • No re-calibrations, no maintenance required
  • Immune against interfering radiation, XIP or RID feature ensure
  • operation during weld inspections
  • SIL2 / SIL3 certified option
     

Further applications in fluid catalytic cracking units (FCC):

Vessel that use radiometric devices in the FCC besides cyclone separators are electrostatic precipitation hoppers and fractionator tower bottom level. The radiometeric level measurement on the fractionator tower bottom is not effect by the changing percent catalyst fines like differential pressure. This increases the reliability of the level potentially proventing tray damage if level gets too high or pump damage if level gets too low.


 

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