Case Study – Pilot Plant: Grace

December 2, 2008

Case Study - Pilot Plant: Grace

Zeton delivered its first DCR Pilot Unit to British Petroleum in London England in 1989 after entering an agreement with W. R. Grace & Co. to design and build the Davison Circulating Riser (DCR) FCC Pilot Unit. Since then Zeton has worked closely with Dr. Gordon Weatherbee of W. R. Grace & Co. to improve process and operability of the DCR Pilot Units and gone on to deliver twelve of these pilot plant units with the very latest pilot plant technology to customers worldwide.

The latest Mark IV DCR Pilot Unit incorporates over three years’ worth of product development by Zeton’s engineering group in Canada under the leadership of Chris Brown and Sean Murray.

Project: Davison Circulating Riser (DCR) Pilot Unit – Mark IV for W. R. Grace & Co.

Technical Specifications of Completed Pilot Plant:

  • Oil Feed Rate: 150-1,600 ml/hr
  • Maximum Operating Pressure: 3.2 barg (46.4) psig
  • Maximum Riser Temperature: 650 degrees Celsius
  • Maximum Regenerator Temperature: 750 degrees Celsius
  • Maximum Stripper Temperature: 590 degrees Celsius
  • Maximum Stabilizer Temperature: -10 degrees Celsius
  • Catalyst Charge: 2,500-3,500g
  • Davison Circulating Rate: 2,500-10,000 g/h
  • Material of Construction: 316, 321 SS

The special features of this completed pilot plant designed, manufactured and delivered by Zeton included:

  • Small overall height for easy installation into laboratory space;
  • Slide valves controlling catalyst circulation from the regenerator and stripper similar to most commercial FCC units;
  • Spent and regenerated catalyst that can be sampled during normal operation;
  • Material balances calculated over a 30-minute period;
  • State-of-the-art computer control system and HMI interface;
  • Catalyst circulation rate that is continuously monitored and displayed on the LCD display.

For more information about the Mark IV DCR Pilot Unit, please contact Herman Bottenberg at Zeton in The Netherlands, or David Edwards and Adam Whalley at Zeton in Canada.

The Design and Build: Scalable Solutions for Pilot Plants

The first stage in evolving the Mark III DCR Pilot Unit into the Mark IV design involved a step change in control system technology, with the now obsolete Azonix control hardware being replaced with state-of-the-art Honeywell HC900 Hybrid Controller and the Proficy-iFIX HMI software from GE Fanuc.

In the second stage the relief system was redesigned to comply with the latest industry requirements for fire case design via a customer-led HAZOP study and the addition of positioners on the pressure control valves, significantly improving control of the system pressure. From the structural steel frames to the major process equipment, redesigning the Mark III process layout from the ground up came in the final and most radical stage.

Developed with input from Dr. Weatherbee, the new Mark IV process layout offers significant improvements in the operability and maintenance of the DCR Pilot Unit, in addition to simplified installation effort and time at our customer plant sites. Further key benefits of the new layout are easier accommodation for future expansion, scale up or modification of the DCR Pilot Unit; and ocean shipment anywhere in the world due to the unit’s new fit inside a standard 40’ high cube shipping container.

“The Mark IV design represents a major step forward in evolution of the Davison Circulating Riser pilot unit. The ergonomics of the unit have been considerably improved as a result of the new equipment and skid layout, and the additional of positioners on the pressure control valves along with the new state-of-the-art control system has significantly improved overall system performance”
– Gordon Weatherbee, W.R. Grace & Co.

Learn more about pilot plants and pilot plant scale-up solutions to get your technology to market – connect with Zeton today.