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C B A P 1 £ R f 0 U R

Cauec ßìsfìttnfìou
4.1. tufaoeucfìou
Crude distillation unit (CDL) is at the tront-end ot the retinery, also
knovn as topping unit, or atmospheric distillation unit. It receives high tlov
rates hence its size and operating cost are the largest in the retinery. Many
crude distillation units are designed to handle a variety ot crude oil types.
1he design ot the unit is based on a light crude scenario and a heavy crude
scenario. 1he unit should run satistactorily at about 60° ot the design teed
rate. Seasonal temperature variation should be incorporated in the design
because changes in the cut point ot gasoline can vary by 20 C (36 l)
betveen summer and vinter.
1he capacity ot the CDL ranges trom 10,000 barrels per stream day
(BPSD) or 1400 metric tons per day (tpd) to 400,000 BPSD (36,000
metric tpd). 1he economics ot retining tavours larger units. A good size
CDL can process about 200,000 BPSD. 1he unit produces rav products
vhich have to be processed in dovnstream unit to produce products ot
certain specitications. 1his involves the removal ot undesirable compo-
nents like sulphur, nitrogen and metal compounds, and limiting the
aromatic contents.
1ypical products trom the unit are:
Iight straight run naphtha (also called light gasoline or light naphtha)
Heavy gasoline (also called military jet tuel)
Kerosene (also called light distillate or jet tuel)
Middle distillates called diesel or light gas oil (IGO)
Heavy distillates called atmospheric gas oil (AGO) or heavy gas oil
Crude column bottoms called atmospheric residue or topped crude.
Iunoamentais of Ietroieum Pefinin¸

2010 Llsevier B.V.
DOI: 10.1016´B978-0-444-32783-1.00004-8 All rights reserved.

4.2. Paoccss ßcscaìrfìou
1he process tlov diagram ot a typical crude distillation unit is shovn
in ligure 4.1. Crude oil is pumped trom storage tanks vhere it is treed trom
sediments and tree vater by gravity. It goes through a series ot heat
exchangers vhere it is heated vith hot products coming out trom the
distillation column and by the exchange vith heat trom the pumparound
liquid streams. 1he temperature ot the crude teed can reach 120÷130 C
(248÷302 l).
1he crude oil contains salt in the torm ot dissolved salt in the tiny droplet
ot vater vhich torms a vater-in oil emulsion. 1his vater cannot be
separated by gravity or through mechanical means. It is separated through
electrostatic vater separation. 1his process is called desalting. In the elec-
trostatic desalter, the salty vater droplets are caused to coalesce and migrate
to the aqueous phase by gravity. It involves mixing the crude vith dilution
vater (3÷6 vol°) through a mixing valve.
1he crude is turther heated in product heat exchangers. 1he preheating
ot the crude using the hot products cools dovn the products to the desired
temperature tor pumping to the storage tanks. 1his is essential tor the
economics ot the unit in terms ot energy conservation and utilization.
Ot course, preheating is not enough, as the crude has to be partially
vaporized to the extent that all products, except tor the atmospheric residue
have to be in the vapour phase vhen the crude enters the atmospheric
distillation column. 1hus a turnace is required to boost the temperature to
Crude Oil
Heavy Gas
Light Gas
Gases +
figure µ.: Proccss flovdiagramof an atmosphcric distillationunit
;c Chapter µ
betveen 330 and 383 C (626 and 723 l) depending on the crude
1he partially vaporized crude is transterred to the tlash zone ot the
column located at a point lover dovn the column and above vhat is called
the stripping section. 1he main column is typically 30 m (164 tt) high and is
equipped vith about 30÷30 valve trays. 1he vapour goes up in tremendous
amounts and at a high tlovrate, necessitating a large diameter column above
the tlash zone. At the bottom ot the stripping section, steam is injected into
the column to strip the atmospheric residue ot any light hydrocarbon and to
lover the partial pressure ot the hydrocarbon vapours in the tlash zone. 1his
has the ettect ot lovering the boiling point ot the hydrocarbons and causing
more hydrocarbons to boil and go up the column to be eventually condensed
and vithdravn as side streams. As the hot vapours trom the tlash zone rise
through the trays up the column, they are contacted by the colder retlux
dovn the column. In the overhead condenser, the vapours are condensed
and part ot the light naphtha is returned to the column as retlux. lurther
retlux is provided by several pumparound streams along the column.
In the distillation tover, heat required tor separation is provided by the
enthalpy ot the teed. lor ettective separation heat has to be removed trom the
tover, in this case, by the overhead condenser and several pumparound
streams along the tover length. 1he pumparound streamis a liquid vithdravn
at a point belova side streamtray that is cooled by the cold crude teedas part ot
the preheat exchangers train. It is then returned to the column a tev trays
above the drav tray. 1his pumparound cooling accomplishes a number ot
tasks. lirst, the cold liquid condenses more ot the rising vapours thus providing
more retlux to compensate tor the vithdraval ot products trom the column.
Second, heat is removed trom the column at higher temperatures. 1his is in
addition to the heat removal tromthe condenser vhich takes place at relatively
lover temperatures, thus the thermal etticiency ot the column is improved and
the required turnace duty is reduced. 1hird, pumparound streams reduce the
vapour tlov rate throughout the column. 1heretore, the required column is
smaller than vhat vould othervise be required it pumparound streams vhere
not there. 1he dravback to using more pumparound streams is that they tend
to reduce the tractionation because a more tractionated liquid is mixed atter
cooling vith a less tractionated liquid a tev trays above.
1he side drav products are usually stripped to control their initial
boiling point. 1he strippers contain several trays and the stripping is done
using steam at the bottom ot the stripper or reboiler type side stream
strippers. 1he end boiling point ot the side stream is controlled by the
tlov rate ot the side stream product.
1he overhead vapour is condensed at the top ot the tover by heat
exchange vith the cool crude coming into the unit and by air and cooling
vater. 1he liquid product is called light straight run naphtha. Part ot this
product is returned to the column as an external retlux. Dovn the column,
Crude 0istillation ;1
other products are vithdravn, such as heavy straight run naphtha, kerosene
or jet tuel, IGO and HGO. All ot these products are vithdravn above the
teed tray. 1he atmospheric residue is vithdravn trom the bottom ot the
1he main column is equipped vith betveen 30 and 30 valve trays.
1ypical designs have the trays distribution betveen products as shovn in
1able 4.1.
4.3. 0rcanfìou or Cauec ßìsfìttnfìou Uuìfs
1he CDL can be looked at trom the point ot viev ot a process
engineering as a multicomponent distillation column. Indeed, the com-
mercial process simulation program models CDL as a case ot multicom-
ponent distillation vith undetined pseudo-components instead ot the
normally encountered detined components. Hovever, because ve are
dealing vith a mixture ot thousands ot compounds and due to the limita-
tion ot any distillation column in terms ot its capacity to tractionate these
components, there are specitic operational aspects vhich characterize the
CDL operation. In addition, there are some practical aspects in meeting
the required specitications and boiling range ot the required transportation
tuels. In this section, the tactors vhich attect the design and operation ot
the unit are explored.
µ.¸.1. Fractionation
1he degree ot tractionation in a crude unit is determined by the gap or
overlap betveen tvo adjacent side stream products. Hence ve can talk
about the gap or overlap in the boiling point range betveen kerosene and
IGO tor example. In the ideal case there vould be no overlap betveen
these products and the end boiling point ot kerosene vould be the initial
1ab|e µ.: Tray distribution in a crude distillation unit
Zonc Numbcr of trays
Overhead product to kerosene 10
Kerosene to light gas oil 8
Iight gas oil to heavy gas oil 6
llash zone to atmospheric residue 6
Pumparounds 3÷4
;z Chapter µ
boiling point ot the IGO. Hovever, it ve compare the AS1M distillation
boiling points, and since AS1M distillation does not give pertect traction-
ation, the AS1M end point ot kerosene is higher than the initial AS1M
boiling point ot IGO. 1his is called tractionation overlap.
Since determining the initial and end point on the laboratory test is not
alvays possible or accurate, the tractionation gap is detined as the ditterence
betveen the AS1M 3° boiling point ot the product and the 93° point ot
the lighter product. When this ditterence is positive, ve have a gap indicat-
ing good tractionation. A negative ditterence is called an overlap indication
that some ot the light product is still in the heavier product and vice versa.
ligure 4.2 shovs the gap and overlap concept. By controlling the cut point
ot any tvo consecutive products ve can attect the degree ot tractionation.
Heavy Cut
Heavy Cut
Light Cut
Light Cut
Perfect TBP fractionation
Low selectivity fractionation
figure µ.z Gapand ovcrlap(Ptak et aI., 2000)
Crude 0istillation ;¸
µ.¸.1.1. Cut Points
1he cut points in the CDL are controlled by the overhead vapour tempera-
ture vhich determines hovmuch vapour goes to the condensers to produce
light naphtha and by the tlov rate ot the various products straight trom the
column or the side stream strippers. 1he atmospheric residue level control
inside the column determines its tlov rate and thus its initial cut point.
1he amount ot light naphtha is determined by the dev point ot the
naphtha at its partial pressure, vhich is close to the overhead temperature.
Changing the dravott rate ot any product attects the cut points ot the
heavier product belov it. lor example, lovering the kerosene tlov rate
vill lover its end point (make it lighter), but vill also modity the initial cut
points ot the IGO and HGO and the initial cut point ot the atmospheric
residue. 1he residue tlov rate, the internal retlux rate, the dravott tem-
peratures and the pumparounds are also attected.
1heretore, it the cut point ot one stream is changed through a change in
its vithdraval rate, the tlov rate ot the heavier product next to it should be
changed in the reverse and by the same amount in order to make the
changes in the desired stream only. lor example, it the end point ot
kerosene is lovered by decreasing the kerosene tlov rate by a certain
amount, the tlov rate ot IGO has to be increased by the same amount. It
this action is taken, only the cut point ot kerosene is attected and the cut
points ot the other products remain unchanged.
1he side stream rate also attects the temperature at the vithdraval tray
and lovers the internal retlux coming out ot that tray. 1he internal retlux
rate attects the degree ot tractionation. It can be increased by increasing the
heater outlet temperature, and by lovering the pumparound duty in the
lover section ot the column. When less heat is removed by the lover
pumparound, more vapours vill be available up the column and more
internal retlux is produced as the vapours are condensed.
µ.¸.1.z. 0egree of Fractionation
1he tractionation quality betveen tvo consecutive streams is attected by
several tactors such as the vapour and liquid tlov rates in the column zone
betveen these tvo streams, the number ot trays, and the heat extracted by
the pumparound. lractionation quality is tormulated in terms ot gap or
overlap ot the products. lor pertect tractionation, zero gap and overlap are
required. 1his means that the LBP ot the light cut vould be the IBP ot the
heavier cut and so on.
µ.¸.z. 0verflash
In order to tractionate the crude oil into the various products, it has to be
heated to a temperature betveen 330 and 383 C (626 and 723 l),
depending on the crude composition. 1he partially vaporized crude is
;µ Chapter µ
transterred to the tlash zone ot the column located at a point lover dovn the
column. 1he turnace outlet temperature should be enough to vaporize all
products vithdravn above the tlash zone plus about 3÷3 vol° ot the
bottom product. 1his overtlash has the tunction ot providing liquid vash
to the vapours going up the column trom the tlash zone, and improving
tractionation on the trays above the tlash zone, thereby improving the
quality ot the HGO and reducing the overlap vith the bottom products
belov the tlash zone. 1his necessitates that there must be tev trays in the
region betveen the tlash zone and the HGOdravott. 1he overtlash provides
heat input to the column in excess to that needed to distill the overhead
products. It also prevents coke deposition on the trays in the vash zone.
1he turnace outlet temperature is controlled to keep coking inside the
turnace tubes and in the column tlash zone to a minimum. Hovever, the
composition ot the crude plays a part in determining the maximum tem-
perature alloved. Parattinic crude oils cracks more readily than an aromatic
or asphalt-base crude. 1heretore, the turnace outlet temperature tor parat-
tinic crude oils is lover than that tor other crude types.
µ.¸.¸. Column Pressure
1he pressure inside the CDLcolumn is controlled by the back pressure ot the
overhead retlux drum at about 0.2÷0.34 bar gauge (3÷3 psig). 1he top tray
pressure is 0.4÷0.7 bar gauge (6÷10 psig) higher than the retlux drum. 1he
tlash zone pressure is usually 0.34÷0.34 bar (3÷8 psi) higher than the top tray.
µ.¸.µ. 0verhead Temperature
1he overhead temperature must be controlled to be 14÷17 C (23÷31 l)
higher than the dev point temperature tor the vater at the column over-
head pressure so that no liquid vater is condensed in the column. 1his is to
prevent corrosion due to the hydrogen chloride dissolved in liquid vater
(hydrochloric acid).
£xamp|e £µ.:
It the overhead stream contains 8.3 mol° vater at a pressure ot 34.7 psia (2.36
bars), calculate the overhead temperature tor sate operation.
1he saturation temperature ot vater at the partial pressure ot vater in the
overhead vapour.
Water partial pressure 0.083 2.36 0.2 bars
lrom the steam tables:
Saturated steam temperature at 0.2 bars 61 C
Sate overhead operating temperature 61 17 78 C
Crude 0istillation ;ç
µ.¸.ç. Pre-flash Columns and Crude Column Capacity
1he crude tlov rate to the CDL determines the capacity ot the vhole
retinery. A crude column is typically designed tor 80° loading, vhich
means that the unit can be operated at 20° throughput more than the design
value. 1he capacity ot the column is limited by the vapour tlov rate vith a
velocity betveen 2.3 and 3.3 tt´s (0.76 and 1.07 m´s). 1he vapour tlov rate
increases as the vapours rise trom the tlash zone to the overhead. 1o keep the
vapour velocity vithin the limits mentioned above, the pumparounds, vhich
are installed at several points along the column, extract heat tromthe column.
1his results in condensing the rising vapours and reducing the vapour velocity.
1o expand crude capacity, the most used technique is to introduce a
pre-tlash column betore the crude heater. 1he crude oil atter preheating in
the hot products and pumparound heat exchangers is tlashed into a column
vhere the lightest products are removed. 1he bottoms trom the pre-tlash
column are introduced into the crude heater and then to the crude column.
1he amounts ot the light ends in the crude are nov less, and this reduces the
vapour loading up the column. Although the unit throughput is increased,
the turnace duty is not increased, since the crude rate going to the turnace is
not attected due to the removal ot the light ends. Pre-tlash columns are also
introduced in the original design ot the CDL vhen the crude oil is light,
and vhen it contains a lot ot light ends in the naphtha range.
4.4. Cauec 0ìt ßcsntfìue
When the crude oil enters the unit, it carries vith it some brine in the
torm ot very tine vater droplets emulsitied in the crude oil. 1he salt content
ot the crude measured in pounds per thousand barrels (P1B) can be as high
as 2000. Desalting ot crude oil is an essential part ot the retinery operation.
1he salt content should be lovered to betveen 3.7 and 14.3 kg´1000 m
and 3 P1B). Poor desalting has the tolloving ettects:
Salts deposit inside the tubes ot turnaces and on the tube bundles ot heat
exchangers creating touling, thus reducing the heat transter etticiency,
Corrosion ot overhead equipment, and,
1he salts carried vith the products act as catalyst poisons in catalytic
cracking units.
µ.µ.1. Types of Salts in Crude 0il
Salts in the crude oil are mostly in the torm ot dissolved salts in tine vater
droplets emulsitied in the crude oil. 1his is called a vater-in-oil emulsion,
vhere the continuous phase is the oil and the dispersed phase is the vater.
;6 Chapter µ
1he vater droplets are so small that they cannot settle by gravity. lurther-
more, these tine droplets have on their surtaces the big asphaltene molecules
vith the tine solid particles coming trom sediments, sands or corrosion
products. 1he presence ot these molecules on the surtace ot the droplets acts
as a shield that prevents the droplets trom uniting vith each other in vhat is
called coalescence. 1he salts can also be present in the torm ot salts crystals
suspended in the crude oil. Salt removal requires that these salts be ionized
in the vater. Hence, vash vater is added to the crude to tacilitate the
desalting process as vill be explained later.
Going back to the subject ot salt types, these are mostly magnesium,
calcium and sodium chlorides vith sodium chloride being the abundant
type. 1hese chlorides, except tor NaCl, hydrolyze at high temperatures to
hydrogen chloride:
2HCl 41
2HCl 42
On the other hand, NaCl does not hydrolyze. Hydrogen chloride dissolves
in the overhead system vater, producing hydrochloric acid, an extremely
corrosive acid.
µ.µ.z. 0esalting Process
1o remove the salts trom the crude oil, the vater-in oil emulsion has to be
broken, thus producing a continuous vater phase that can be readily
separated as a simple decanting process. 1he process is accomplished
through the tolloving steps (Abdel-Aal et ai., 2003):
1ater uashin¸: Water is mixed vith the incoming crude oil through
a mixing valve. 1he vater dissolves salt crystals and the mixing distri-
butes the salts into the vater, unitormly producing very tiny droplets.
Demulsitying agents are added at this stage to aide in breaking the
emulsion by removing the asphaltenes trom the surtace ot the droplets.
Heatin¸: 1he crude oil temperature should be in the range ot
48.9÷34.4 C (120÷130 l) since the vater÷oil separation is attected by
the viscosity and density ot the oil.
Coaiescence: 1he vater droplets are so tine in diameter in the range ot
1÷10 m that they do not settle by gravity. Coalescence produces larger
drops that can be settled by gravity. 1his is accomplished through an
electrostatic electric tield betveen tvo electrodes. 1he electric tield
ionizes the vater droplets and orients them so that they are attracted to
each other. Agitation is also produced and aides in coalescence. 1he torce
ot attraction betveen the vater droplets is given by:
Crude 0istillation ;;
vhere L is the electric tield, o is the drop diameter and s is the distance
betveen drops centres and K is a constant.
:ettiin¸: According to Stock`s lav the settling rate ot the vater droplets
atter coalescence is given by
Settling rate
k 


vhere  is the density  is the viscosity, o is the droplet diameter and k is a
µ.µ.¸. 0escription of 0esalter
A typical desalter contains tvo metal electrodes as shovn in ligure 4.3.
A high voltage is applied betveen these tvo electrodes. lor ettective
desalting the electric tields are applied as tollovs:
A high voltage tield called the secondary tield`` ot about 1000 V´cm
betveen the tvo electrodes is applied. 1he ionization ot the vater
droplets and coalescence takes place here
Baffles or
Crude collector
Diffusion valve
Mixing Valve
figure µ.y Simplificd flovdiagramof anclcctrostatic dcsaltcr (Ptaket aI., 2000)
;8 Chapter µ
A primary tield ot about 600 V´cm betveen the vater÷crude intertace
and the lover electrode is applied. 1his tield helps the vater droplets settle
1he desalter ot this design achieves 90° salt removal. Hovever 99° salt
removal is possible vith tvo-stage desalters as shovn in ligure 4.4. A second
stage is also essential since desalter maintenance requires a lengthy amount ot
time to remove the dirt and sediment vhich settle at the bottom. 1heretore, the
crude unit can be operated vith a one stage desalter vhile the other is cleaned.
µ.µ.µ. 0esalter 0perating variables
lor an etticient desalter operation, the tolloving variables are controlled:
Desaitin¸ temperature: 1he settling rate depends on the density and viscos-
ity ot the crude. Since increasing the temperature lovers the density
and viscosity, the settling rate is increased vith temperature based on
the crude gravity, typical desalting temperature can vary betveen 30 and
130 C (122 and 302 l).
1ashin¸ uater ratio: Adding vater to the crude oil helps in salt removal.
Hence, increasing the vash vater rate increases the coalescence rate.
Depending on the desalting temperature, a minimum value should be
use. lor example, Kuvait crude (31.2 API) requires 7÷8 vol° vater
addition relative to the crude rate.
1ater ie:ei: Paising the vater level reduces the settling time tor the vater
droplets in the crude oil, thus improving the desalting etticiency.
Hovever, it the vater level gets too high and reaches the lover electrode,
it shorts out the desalter. Since the primary electric tield depends on the
distance betveen the lover electrode and the vater÷crude intertace, it is
alvays better to keep the level constant tor stable operation.
1ashin¸ uater injection point: Lsually the vashing vater is injected at the
mixing valve. Hovever, it it is teared that salt deposition may occur in
figure µ.µ 1vo-stagc dcsalting
Crude 0istillation ;ç
the preheat exchangers, part or all ot the vashing vater is injected right
atter the crude teed pump.
Demuisifier injection rate: Demulsitiers are basic copolymers vith one end
being hydrophilic (loves vater and attaches to the surtace ot the vater
droplet), and the other end being hydrophobic (loves the oil and is
directed to the oil side). When these compounds are adsorbed on the
droplet surtace, they stabilize the droplet. 1he demulsitier is added to the
crude atter the teed pump or betore the mixing valve at levels betveen 3
and 10 ppm ot the crude.
l,pe of uashin¸ uater: Process vater in addition ot tresh vater is used tor
desalting. 1he vater should be relatively sott in order to prevent scaling.
It should be slightly acidic vith a pH in the range ot 6. It should be tree
trom hydrogen sulphide and ammonia so as to not create more corrosion
problems. 1heretore, distillation overhead condensates and process vater
trom other units can be used atter stripping.
Iressure orop in the mixin¸ :ai:e: Mixing the vashing vater vith crude
oil is necessary in order to distribute the vater and dissolve any
suspended salts crystals. 1he pressure drop across the mixing valve
determines the mixing etticiency. On the other hand, the mixing
process produces tiner (smaller diameter) droplets vhich tend to stabi-
lize the emulsion and make vater separation more ditticult. 1heretore,
there is a compromise in selection ot the appropriate pressure drop
across the mixing valve. A pressure drop betveen 0.3 and 1.3 bar
(7.4 and 22 psi) is used.
One variable vhich is not mentioned above is the desalter pressure. 1he
operation ot the desalter requires that the crude be in the liquid phase during
desalting. A typical pressure ot 12 bar (176 psia) is necessary to achieve this
purpose. When the process control variables are properly adjusted, a 90°
salt rejection (2÷3 P1B ot salts in the desalted crude relative to the rav
crude) can be achieved. With a tvo stage operation the salt rejection can
reach 99°. Any remaining salts are neutralized by the injection ot sodium
hydroxide vhich reacts vith the calcium and magnesium chloride to
produce sodium chloride.
2NaCl 43
NaCl does not hydrolyze to the corrosive hydrogen chloride.
4.5. vncuuu ßìsfìttnfìou
1o extract more distillates trom the atmospheric residue, the bottom
trom the atmospheric CDL is sent to the vacuum distillation unit. 1he
vacuum unit distillates are classitied as light vacuum gas oil (IVGO),
8c Chapter µ
medium vacuum gas oil (MVGO), and heavy vacuum gas oil (HVGO).
In addition a vacuum residue is produced. It the distillates are teed to dovn
stream conversion process, their the sulphur, metal and asphaltene content
should be reduced by hydrotreating or hydroprocessing. In some retineries
the vhole atmospheric residue is hydroprocessed betore vacuum distilla-
tion. 1he vacuumunit can also be used to produce lubrication oil grade teed
stocks. 1his depends on the quality ot the crude oil teed to the retinery as
only special types ot crude can produce lube grade teed stocks.
µ.ç.1. Process 0escription
ligure 4.3 shovs the tlov diagram ot the vacuum distillation unit. 1he
atmospheric residue can be sent directly to the vacuum unit atter heat
extraction in the crude preheat exchangers train. It it is sent to storage,
the temperature should not be belov 130 C (300 l) to control the
viscosity necessary tor proper tlov. It is then heated in several exchangers
by the hot products and pumparounds ot the vacuum unit. linal heating to
380÷413 C (716÷779 l) is done in a tired heater. 1o minimize thermal
cracking and coking, steam is injected in the heater tube passes. 1he teed
enters the vacuum tover at the lover part ot the column. As in the case ot
atmospheric distillation, a 3÷3 vol° overtlash is maintained (i.e., 3÷3 vol°
vapours are produced more than the total products vithdravn above the
tlash zone). 1his is to provide some tractionation betveen the HVGO
Wash Zone HVGO and
850 F
P = 25-40
Steam injected
into feed
figure µ.y Proccss flovdiagramof thc vacuumdistillationunit
Crude 0istillation 81
dravott tray and the tlash zone, thereby controlling its end point. 1he
distillate is vithdravn as IVGO and tvo other cuts, MVGO and HVGO.
1he tvo cuts ot MVGO and HVGO are necessary to extract heat trom the
tover at a more advantageous level trom the HVGO pumparound.
Vacuumdistillation columns are equipped vith packing tor tractionation
and heat exchange zones. 1his is in order to reduce the pressure drop in the
column vhich is necessary tor creating a lov vacuum in the lover section ot
the column. 1he bottom zone is equipped vith valve trays. 1he vapours
trom the tlash zone go through a vash and tractionation zone vhere the
heavy ends are condensed vith HVGO retlux. lurther up, the column
sections (consisting ot a heat exchange and tractionation zone) are separated
by sprays ot liquid trom the pumparound or the internal retlux.
Vacuum distillation units have a system to create the vacuum that uses
either ejectors or a combination ot ejectors and liquid ring pumps. Ljectors
recompress the gases through a nozzle vhere vapours trom the column are
sucked into the venturi section ot the nozzle by a stream ot medium or lov
pressure steam. 1he vapour phase at the ejector exit is partially condensed in
an exchanger vith cooling vater. 1he liquid phase is then sent to the
overhead drum. 1he vapour phase goes trom the condenser to another
ejector-condenser stage.
Iiquid ring pumps are similar to rotor gas compressors. One pump can
replace tvo or three stages ot ejectors in dry or vet type vacuum distillation.
1hey do not use steam and can signiticantly reduce hydrocarbon-rich
aqueous condensates in a system using ejectors. Systems vith ejectors are
much more tlexible and rapid to put into operation. 1he higher investments
required by liquid ring pumps are ottset by reduced steam consumption and
lover installation costs.
4.6. Cauec ßìsfìttnfìou Mnfcaìnt ßntnucc
In this section, ve vill consider the product slate trom the crude
distillation unit (atmospheric and vacuum distillation). lor a given crude oil
teed rate, the tlov rates and the properties ot the various products are
calculated. lurthermore, the properties ot the various cuts are estimated.
lor this purpose, crude assay data have to be provided. In addition, the
desired products trom the atmospheric and vacuum distillation tovers are
assigned along vith their respective boiling point ranges.
µ.6.1. Crude Assay 0ata
Iaboratory crude assay reports provide 1BP tor the vhole crude as
explained in Section 3.2.3. 1he maximum temperature that can be
measured vith this test is in the range ot 496÷326 C (923÷973 l),
depending on the crude oil. 1he actual end point ot the crude oil can be
8z Chapter µ
as high as 790 C (1434 l). Lxtrapolation ot the measured portion ot the
1BP curve to a volume percent approaching the end point is discussed in
Sections 3.3.1 and 3.3.2.
1he products trom the crude distillation unit (atmospheric and vacuum
distillation) are then chosen. 1ypical products vith their end points are
shovn in example L4.2. 1he volume percent ot each cut is determined by
calculating the cumulative volume percent tor each traction at its end
boiling point trom any ot the tit procedures explained earlier in Section
3.3 and then calculating the ditterence. 1he volume traction ot the vacuum
residue is obtained as 100 minus the cumulative volume percent at the end
boiling point ot the vacuum distillate.
£xamp|e £µ.z
Consider the Kuvait export crude vith the tolloving 1BP-vol° data:
Volumc " 1BP ( C)
3 40
10 83
30 213
30 340
70 493
Determine the volumetric yield, average boiling point, molecular veight and
1able L4.2.1.
P data versus vol° (Section 3.3.1)
and given the end point ot each cut, ve can calculate the cumulative volume
1ab|e £µ.z.: Typical C0u products and their end boiling points
Cut ± Product Lnd point ( C)
1 Ott gas 10
2 Iight straight run naphtha 70
3 Naphtha 180
4 Kerosene 240.0
3 Iight diesel 290.0
6 Heavy diesel 340.0
7 Atm. gas oil 370.0
8 Vacuum gas oil 390.0
9 Vac. distillate 330.0
9 Vac. residue ÷
Crude 0istillation 8¸
percent. lor example, the cumulative volume percent tor the ott gas and
the light straight run naphtha is 1.33 and 8.6°, respectively. 1heretore, the
volume percent ot the light straight run naphtha is 8.6÷1.33 or 7.27°.
1he average normal boiling point tor each cut is calculated at the mid percent
cumulative volume percent ot the cut (in this case the light straight run
naphtha) 1.33 7.27´2 or 4.963°. 1he average boiling point is then calcu-
lated to be 43.6 C. lrom equation (3.29) vith this average boiling point,
molecular veight and average boiling point using equation (3.11), to be
0.680. 1he calculations tor the other cuts are shovn belov. 1hese calculations
can be done using the Lxcel spreadsheet Crude Lnit. 1able L4.2.2 shovs
the results.
1he 1BP curve tor each product can also be obtained trom the volume
percent ot each cut as shovn in the example L4.3.
£xamp|e £µ.y
Plot the true boiling point curve tor the kerosene product trom 1able L4.2.2.
Volume percent ot kerosene 9.31°
1he cumulative vol° at the IBP ot kerosene 1.33 7.27 16.36 23.16°
1he cumulative vol° at the LBP ot kerosene 23.16 10.03 33.21°
1ab|e £µ.z.z volumetric yield of cuts and their properties
± Product
of cut
Lnd point
1 Ott gas 1.33 10 2.3 33.6 0.633
2 It. St. Pun
7.27 70 43.6 71.2 0.680
3 Naphtha 16.36 180 131.3 112.4 0.734
4 Kerosene 10.03 240.0 209.9 139.8 0.803
3 Iight Diesel 7.83 290.0 264.4 200.1 0.831
6 Heavy Diesel 6.99 340.0 314.3 243.6 0.834
7 Atm. Gas Oil 3.84 370.0 334.8 284.7 0.870
8 Vacuum Gas Oil 2.43 390.0 379.9 313.2 0.880
9 Vac. Distillate 18.34 330.0 466.6 434.7 0.910
9 Vac. Pesidue 26.70 ÷ 688.6 1130.3 0.969
8µ Chapter µ
1he cumulative vol°at the 10°ot kerosene cut 0.1(10.03) 23.16 26.17°.
At vol° ot 26.17° the estimated 1BP is 186.73 C using the same polynomial
vhich yield 27.17° and 1BP ot 189.26 C. ligure L4.3.1 shovs the 1BP curve
tor kerosene vhich starts at IBP ot 180 C and ends at LBP ot 240 C.
µ.6.z. Material 8alance
lor a given teed tlov rate in barrels per calendar day (BPCD), and given the
specitic gravity ot the teed, the mass tlov rate ot the teed can be calculated.
1hen the volumetric throughput ot each product cut in BPCD and in kg´h
(lb´h) is calculated. 1he mass tlov rate ot the vacuum residue is calculated as
the ditterence betveen the teed mass tlov rate and the total mass tlov rate
ot all products lighter than the vacuum residue. Similarly tromthe mass tlov
rate ot the residue and its gravity, its volumetric tlov rate can be calculated.
1he sum ot the volumetric tlov rates ot the products may become higher
than the teed. 1his is expected, since the volume change ot mixing is
negative tor petroleum tractions. When the tractions are mixed, the total
volume ot the mixture is less than the sum ot the volumes ot the tractions.
Lxample L4.4 illustrates the material balance calculations.

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
figure £µ.y.: 1BPcurvc for kcroscnc cut
Crude 0istillation 8ç
£xamp|e £µ.µ
lor Kuvait export crude (API 31.3) given in the example L4.2, pertorm a
material balance CDL calculations tor a teed rate ot 100,000 BPCD.
betveen the teed rate and the sum ot product lighter than the vacuum residue.
1he results are shovn in 1able L4.4.1
µ.6.¸. Sulphur Material 8alance
lor crude oil containing signiticant amounts ot sulphur, it is necessary to
make a sulphur balance around the crude unit. 1he sulphur content ot the
crude oil should be given. 1he sulphur content ot the products should also be
knovn. It these data are not available the estimation ot the sulphur content
ot petroleum tractions can be calculated using the tolloving equations in the
tvo ranges ot molecular veight M (Piazi et ai., 1999):
lor tractions vith M  200
vt: 177448 170946P
02238m 4034SG 46
1ab|e £µ.µ.: Crude unit material balance
C Vol" BPCD SG kg[h
Crude oil 100 100,000.0 0.8683 373,844
Ott gas 10 1.33 1330 0.633 3,380
It. St. Pun 70 7.27 7270 0.680 32,664
Naphtha 180 16.36 16360 0.734 82,300
Kerosene 240.0 10.03 10030 0.803 33,322
Iight diesel 290.0 7.83 7830 0.831 42,992
Heavy Diesel 340.0 6.99 6990 0.834 39,442
Atm. Gasoil 370.0 3.84 3840 0.870 22,074
Vac. Gasoil 390.0 2.43 2430 0.880 14,129
Vac. Distil 330.0 18.34 18340 0.910 110,272
Vac. Pesidue ÷ 26.70 26700 0.969 170,869
101.33 101330 373,844
86 Chapter µ
And tor tractions vith M 200
vt: 3802 38463P
0023m 224SG 47
vhere SG is the specitic gravity, P
is the retractivity intercept detined as
vhere n and o are the retractive index and density ot liquid hydrocarbon at
68 l (20 C) in g´cm
. Peter to Chapter 3, Sections 3.4.3 and 3.4.4 on
hov to calculate these parameters. 1he parameter m is detined as
m M n 1473 49
Atter calculating the vt° : in each product except the vacuum residue, the
amount ot sulphur is calculated by multiplying this percentage by the mass
rate ot each product. 1he sulphur in the vacuum residue is calculated trom
the ditterence ot the total sulphur in the crude teed and the total sulphur in
the products.
£xamp|e £µ.y
Pertorm a sulphur balance on the crude unit ot example L4.4, knoving that the
sulphur content ot Kuvait export is 2.32 vt°.
1he vt° : in each product except the vacuum residue is calculated using
equations (4.6) and (4.7) in 1able L4.3.1.
1ab|e £µ.y.: Calculation of sulphur content of the products
, K SG
20 C I
20 C R
M\ m
Ott gas 273.7 0.633 0.6298 0.2188 1.3363 1.0416 33.6 -6.3890 0.479
It. St. Pun 316.8 0.680 0.6734 0.2324 1.3814 1.0437 71.2 -6.6710 0.287
Naphtha 404.7 0.734 0.7496 0.2340 1.4219 1.0471 112.4 -3.9731 0.161
Kerosene 483.1 0.803 0.7989 0.2681 1.4488 1.0493 139.8 -4.1919 0.379
Iight diesel 337.3 0.831 0.8271 0.2760 1.4642 1.0306 200.1 -2.1700 1.034
Heavy Diesel 387.4 0.834 0.8499 0.2823 1.4766 1.0316 243.6 0.3786 1.341
Atm. Gasoil 627.9 0.870 0.8666 0.2869 1.4837 1.0323 284.7 3.0372 1.880
Vac. Gasoil 633.1 0.880 0.8764 0.2896 1.4910 1.0328 313.2 3.0039 2.069
Vac. Distil 739.7 0.910 0.9070 0.2979 1.3077 1.0341 434.7 14.1990 2.391
Crude 0istillation 8;
1he Sulphur material balance is shovn in 1able L4.3.2.
4.7. ßcsìeu or Cauec ßìsfìttnfìou Uuìfs Usìue
Paoccss 5ìuutnfoas
Although the CDL contains many pieces ot equipment vith ditterent
unit operations, the most important one is the distillation column. 1he
design and simulation ot the atmospheric and vacuum distillation columns is
the most important part ot the vhole unit design. It determines the quality
ot the product and since it is energy intensive, it can have a substantial
ettect on the economics ot the unit. 1hus, improving the design or opera-
tion ot the distillation columns can increase the protitability ot the retinery.
1he simulation or design ot the distillation columns involves dividing the
crude oil into pseudo-components as outlined in Chapter 3. 1hen a ther-
modynamic model is chosen tor vapour liquid equilibrium and thermody-
namic properties calculations. A good model is the cubic equations ot state,
and the Peng÷Pobinson equation is one ot the most videly used models tor
hydrocarbon and petroleum mixtures. Next, the unit operations stage-vise
or tray to tray`` distillation calculations are pertormed. 1he mass, energy
balance and vapour liquid equilibrium relations tor each tray are vritten and
solved together, subject to certain specitication tor the products. Computer
simulation programs such as LNISIM are used tor quick simulation ot
CDL units.
1ab|e £µ.y.z Sulphur material balance
Mass (kg[hr) vt"S kg[hr S
Feed 373,844 2.32 14,461
Ott gas 3,380 0.479 26.7
It. St. Naphtha 32,664 0.287 93.8
Naphtha 82,300 0.161 132.8
Kerosene 33,322 0.379 202.1
Iight diesel 42,992 1.034 433.1
Heavy diesel 39,442 1.341 607.8
Atm. Gas Oil 22,074 1.880 413.0
Vac. Gas Oil 14,129 2.069 292.3
Vac. Distillate 110,272 2.391 2837.1
Vac. Pesidue 170,869 3.490 9380.3
1otal 373,844 2.32 14,461
88 Chapter µ
£xamp|e £µ.6
Pertorm a material balance tor a CDL using LNISIM tor 100,000 BPCD ot 29
API crude vith the tolloving assay.
vol" 1BP ( C) vol" 1BP ( C)
0.0 9.44 40.0 273.33
4.3 32.22 30.0 326.67
9.0 73.89 60.0 393.33
14.3 113.36 70.0 473.89
20.0 134.44 76.0 320.36
30.0 223.89 80.0 346.11
l and 73 psia. 1he
vapour trom this separator bypasses the crude turnace and is remixed vith
the hot (630 l) liquid leaving the turnace. 1he combined stream is then ted
to the distillation column (ligure L4.6.1). 1he column operates vith a
total condenser, three side strippers and three pumparounds (ligure L4.6.2).
(LNISIM 2007).
In the oil environment and oil manager data entry ot the LNISIM sottvare, the
crude assay is entered as vol° and 1BP. 1he yield distribution ot the products is
shovn in ligure L4.6.3.
1he distillation column has three inlet steam streams, vith pressures and
1able L4.6.1. 1he main distillation column contains 29 stages
(see ligure L4.6.2). 1he overhead condenser operates at 19.7 psia and the
bottoms at 32.7 psia. 1he side stripper connections are also shovn in
ligure L4.6.2.
Crude Heater
Mixer Steam
Atm. Feed
Off Gas
Waste Water
figure £µ.6.: Crudc distillation flovshcct
Crude 0istillation 8ç
AGO Steam
Atm. Feed
Off Gas
Waste Water
Diesel Steam
Main Steam
P.A: Pumparound
S.S: Side Stripper
figure £µ.6.z Distillationcolumn
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700
Boing Point (





1 Off Gas
2 Lt St Run
3 Naphtha
4 Kerosene
5 Light Diesel
6 Heavy Diesel
7 Atm Gas
8 Residue
figure £µ.6.y Crudc distributioncurvc
çc Chapter µ
1able L4.6.1.
1he solved material and energy balance is shovn in 1able L4.6.2.
1ab|e £µ.6.: Column speciñcations
Itcm Spccification
Pumparound 1 rate 331.2 m
Pumparound 1 duty 3.8 10
Pumparound 2 rate 198.7 m
Pumparound 2 duty 3.7 10
Pumparound 3 rate 198.7 m
Pumparound 3 duty 3.7 10
Naphtha product rate 132.4 m
23.19 m
Kero reboiler duty 7.913 10
1ab|e £µ.6.z Material and energy balance
( C)
Molar flov
(kg mol[h)
Mass flov
Hot crude 0.6447 343.3 448.2 2843 3.829 10
2.673 10
Main steam 1.0 190.6 1034 188.8 3402 2.339 10
Diesel steam 1.0 148.9 344.7 73.34 1361 2.370 10
AGO steam 1.0 148.9 344.7 62.93 1134 2.370 10
Ott gas 1.0 41.92 133.8 0 0 ÷
Naphtha 0.0 41.92 133.8 1283 1.124 10
1.921 10
Waste vater 0.0 41.92 133.8 316.8 3707 2.841 10
Kerosene 0.0 236.3 203.8 320.9 3.079 10
2.678 10
Diesel 0.0 233.0 213.6 309.8 1.106 10
3.383 10
AGO 0.0 300.4 218.6 91.7 2.708 10
4.493 10
Pesidue 0.0 333.1 223.3 647.8 2.822 10
3.933 10
Crude 0istillation ç1