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Industries   Oil & Gas Hydrogen recycle

Robust, multi-component gas analysis…and hydrogen, too

Improve availability and productivity

The use and management of hydrogen in modern refineries is a critical part of operational efficiency and profitability. Much of the hydrogen consumed in refineries is derived from hydrogen recycle streams from the hydrotreating and hydrocracking process units that are essential for making finished products from crude oil feedstock. In many of these recycle streams, full composition measurement provides additional benefits to the refinery. Our Kaiser Raman analyzers can measure H2, H2S, and provide derived values such as specific gravity.

0 USD/year

estimated OPEX savings over specific gravity sensors at one refinery by using the parallel optical measurement with Kaiser Raman technology

S. Sutherland, S., P. van Vuuren, S.P. Harris, T. Miller, “Measuring Success”, Hydrocarbon Engineering June 2019, 61-65

How we can help

Hydrogen recycle gas streams in refineries are often measured with a specific gravity meter. For some process units, the recycle gas may be mixed with feedstock entering a hydrotreater upstream of the hydrocracker, and residual H2S can poison the hydrotreater catalyst. Full composition analyzers are essential in these applications, but process gas chromatographs and mass spectrometers are often challenging to keep operational. Our Kaiser Raman analyzers provide an optical alternative that can provide full composition of hydrogen recycle streams. Benefits over conventional analyzers include:

  • Require no columns, valves, or carrier gases, improving analyzer availability and reducing OPEX
  • Measures up to 4 streams simultaneously, for faster, more efficient process control
  • Avoid costly flaring by allowing the sample to be returned to the process after analysis
  • Enhance worker safety as no toxic gases are transported from the sample tap to the analyzer
  • Improve OPEX as the systems require fewer repairs, and total repair times are usually shorter
  • Measure streams up to 150 meters from the analyzer, at the speed of light, to eliminate lag times

Applications

Increase Availability for atmospheric distillate diesel hydrotreater H2 recycle

Diesel is one of the middle distillates from the atmospheric distillation unit in refineries. Depending on the feed, these streams may contain significant amounts of sulfur and nitrogen, potential catalyst poisons.

Oil & Gas plant at night

Our expertise in the field

With modern, reliable Kaiser process Raman spectrometers, achieve lower OPEX costs over traditional chromatographic analyzers.

  • Measure H2, N2, and H2S, as well as light hydrocarbons
  • Improved availability over conventional gas chromatographic solutions
  • Measured sample can be returned to the process, avoiding costly flaring

Benefits of multi-component analysis for vacuum distillate hydrotreater H2 recycle streams

Running hydrogen limited in a refinery is optimal for overall plant efficiency. For FCC feed hydrotreaters, high HPS (high pressure separator) hydrogen purity is needed. Multicomponent analysis with Kaiser Raman analyzers enables this and can protect critical hydrotreater catalysts by simultaneously measuring H2S.

Oil & Gas plant at night

Our expertise in the field

Our Kaiser Raman spectrometers can measure both H2 and H2S, unlike conventional SG meters. Measuring the full stream composition improves productivity

  • Optimize the high-pressure separator (HPS) to provide high H2 partial pressure
  • Run recycle compressor closer to design value
  • Simultaneously monitor H2S to avoid corrosion in the hydrotreater
  • Know why specific gravity changes occur by monitoring the full stream composition
  • Realize additional savings by reducing use of expensive make-up hydrogen
  • Monitoring multiple streams simultaneously allows for measurement of process and startup compressors simultaneously without stream switching
Hydrogen recycle process graphic

Process flow diagram of a typical refinery hydrotreating and hydrocracking process

Refineries process crude oil into a variety of useful products, including gasoline, diesel fuel, and heating oil. Modern refineries use hydrogen in numerous hydrotreating and hydrocracking processes, and an essential feedstock for many of these process units is hydrogen. Hydrogen is the simplest and most abundant element on earth. Hydrogen is primarily produced from Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) of natural gas. In refineries, one of the most common uses of hydrogen is in the various hydrotreater and hydrocracker process units used throughout the refining process. Given its extensive use in refineries, recycle gas loops are also quite common in refineries to recover unused H2. Numbers on the diagram represent measurement points that are typically analyzed in real-time for control and optimization of the main process units.

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