Highest Densicat® loading rate - PETROVAL

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Petroval Inc, the US branch of the Petroval group, recently recorded the highest dense loading rate ever, using its proprietary Densicat® technology. A loading rate of 36 MT/h was achieved while loading the top bed of a hydrocracking reactor in a Gulf Coast refinery. Even with the normal stoppages for bed inspections, outage measurements, and a shift change, the loading of the whole bed of 132 MT (291 000 lbs) was completed in less than 6 hours. 

Several factors contributed to this exceptional achievement. First the Densicat® machine operator was a trained and experienced Petroval technician, who controlled the equipment to its full potential. Second and foremost, the Densicat® machine with its unique design is the only dense loading device capable of loading at such a rate while still producing a homogeneous bed with optimum density due to:

  • The catalyst distribution using rubber strips over which the catalyst flows (no attrition), and the catalyst not being ejected horizontally, thus avoiding weight (ballistic) segregation.
  • An instantaneous and continuous distribution of the catalyst over the entire reactor cross-section.
  • A catalyst flow controlled by gravity, independently from the rotation speed.

However, this loading rate is only possible on a sustained basis if the associated catalyst handling and logistics infrastructure is capable of delivering this rate of catalyst to the top of the reactor. The catalyst handling contractor worked smoothly and seamlessly with Petroval in order to achieve this rate. Two lifting cranes were used in an alternating sequence, all controlled by a single rigger.

Each crane lifted two supersacks of catalyst (1 MT per bag) at a time, one bag suspended above the other. It was possible to use this arrangement because the hopper at the top of the reactor had a sufficiently large volume to hold two supersacks, and the handling company workers managed to empty the bags into the hopper quickly and safely.

Needless to say, the refinery was delighted with this very fast completion of a Critical Path job.

If you are interested to minimize your turnaround time thanks to very high catalyst loading rates while keeping an excellent bed dense density homogeneity, please fill free to contact us at JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING and our technical team will discuss with you your specific case in details.