A Ultraformer at a refinery produces a high-octane blending component and mixed xylenes for chemical feedstock from hydrotreated heavy naphtha (sulfur and nitrogen removed to non-detectable limits) by converting paraffins and naphthenes to aromatics. It has been observed that hotspots develop in the tail reactor and large amounts of coke form in the catalyst bed, which must be burned off slowly during regeneration.
The objective of this project is to use computational fluid dynamics simulation and virtual reality simulation to investigate flow patterns and optimize operating conditions to prevent the flow maldistribution problem.
Click the movie below to see the Ultraformer Reactor in detail.
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Faculty Collaborator: Chenn Q. Zhou