Fluid catalytic cracking unit emissions and their impact
journal contributionposted on 25.10.2011, 11:41 authored by Wael Yateem, Vahid Nassehi, Abdul R. Khan
Fluid catalytic cracking unit is of great importance in petroleum refining industries as it treats heavy fractions from various process units to produce light ends (valuable products). FCC unit feedstock consists of heavy hydrocarbon with high sulfur contents, and the catalyst in use is zeolite impregnated with rare earth metals, i.e., lanthanum and cerium. Catalytic cracking reaction takes place at elevated temperature in fluidized bed reactor generating sulfur-contaminated coke on the catalyst with large quantity of attrited catalyst fines. In the regenerator, coke is completely burnt producing SO2, PM emissions. The impact of the FCC unit is assessed in the immediate neighborhood of the refinery. Year-long emission inventories for both SO2 and PM have been prepared for one of the major petroleum refining industry in Kuwait. The corresponding comprehensive meteorological data are obtained and preprocessed using Aermet (Aermod preprocessor). US EPA approved dispersion model, Aermod, is used to predict ground level concentrations of both pollutants in the selected study area. Model output is validated with measured values at discrete receptors, and an extensive parametric study has been conducted using three scenarios, stack diameter, stack height, and emission rate. It is noticed that stack diameter has no effect on ground level concentration, as stack exit velocity is a function of stack diameter. With the increase in stack height, the predicted concentrations decrease showing an inverse relation. The influence of the emission rate is linearly related to the computed ground level concentrations.
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