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East101's Webinar Series

Molecular PIONA Based Feed Characterization and Refinery Reactor Modelling

Modelling of crude oil and petroleum products is a challenging task as a crude oil can contain up to 30,000 different components. Most commercial simulators have two critical functions that are used to reduce the challenge to manageable proportions. These have allowed engineers to model processes that vaporise, condense, and move fluids, i.e. separators, fractionators, compressors, pumps, and heat exchangers reasonably well.

The first is a collection of empirical correlations consolidated over decades of research that enable reasonable estimation of thermophysical properties (e.g. equilibrium constants, enthalpy and entropy) from physical properties (e.g. boiling point, density and viscosity).

The second is a crude assay function which takes in to a crude oil’s physical properties (i.e. boiling point, density and viscosity) and petroleum properties (i.e. sulfur content, pour point and PIONA ratios) as a continuous function of cumulative volume percent, then calculates the required properties for any number of “Hypothetical Components”, or hypos, to yield the same characteristic curves. Typically, 30 to 60 hypos are used as this range affords reasonable accuracy for the associated computational complexity.

However, we encounter the limitation to the boiling point method of fluid characterization when it comes to modeling refinery reactions (and to some extent transport properties) as reaction kinetics are sensitive to functional groups and molecular configuration which are not well-captured when using boiling point hypo components.

In this webinar, we’ll share and walk through a somewhat novel approach to address this shortcoming taken by the Virtual Materials Group, now a Schlumberger company, where boiling points, along with other property data is used to generate a molecular/chemistry-based slate of components for oil and petroleum products, allowing refinery reactions to now to be represented.

We will share how molecular-based PIONA slates are generated and take a look at a Residue Fluid Catalytic Cracking model.


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