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Catalyst Mixed Out Of The Big Benefits
Feb 23, 2018

"In the field of petrochemicals, the output and quality of products has always been a contradiction, but we have overcome the technical difficulties of catalyst gradation and achieved the goal of" combining both fish and bear's paw "through a variety of catalysts." In China Petrochemical Co., Ltd. Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Branch, five chief engineer Sun Jianhuai told reporters.

It is this world-first technology that led Sun Jianhuai's team to win the second prize of the 2017 National Technology Invention Award, rewrite the traditional process technology route of China's petrochemical industry for decades, and create considerable economic and social benefits.

Violation of the principle of "black technology"

This "black technology" should start with a production problem nine years ago. At that time, due to design reasons, the quality of aviation kerosene and ethylene cracking raw materials produced by Zhenhai Refining & Chemical Co., Ltd., an up-and-coming hydrocracker, failed to reach the expected target.

This problem is not difficult to solve. The conventional approach is to replace the catalyst and sacrifice some of the output to ensure the quality. However, the economic benefits of the enterprises will also be greatly reduced.

"Why do not you try a mix of catalysts with different grades?" Sun Jianhuai, who was in charge of plant technology, came up with a bold idea: loading different types and functions of catalyst in different parts of the reactor, some of which To improve product quality, the other part is used to increase production.

This is a road that the petrochemical industry has never before seen at home and abroad. It violates the principle that "one reaction device uses only one catalyst" in the industry.

Moreover, the replacement of a catalyst costs up to 50 million yuan, "grading mix" can achieve the desired effect of great uncertainty, and the various catalysts adjusted to the best state of activity, is a technical problem.

Fortunately, this "big hole" idea, has been Zhenhai Refinery's support. "We are cooperating with Fushun Research Institute of Petrochemicals, both of Sinopec, to carry out technological breakthroughs." Sun Jianhuai said that the catalyst performance matching and operation scheme control are all carried out in the pilot plant of the laboratory, which greatly reduces trial and error costs and accelerates R & D process.

Through the efficient cooperation between academies and enterprises, two kinds of catalysts with different functions of "gradation and mixing" passed the test and left the laboratory in just 9 months. In March 2010, Zhenhai Refinery's first large-scale production plant began its first industrial practice. As a result, everyone was excited - the unit achieved a double increase in production and quality with a 10% reduction in energy consumption. Through the molecular structure of hydrocarbon-oriented enterprises can also be based on market demand, product structure and flexible orientation.

The "mix-and-match" has also stood the test of time, extending catalyst life by a full year to a record 49 months.

Three kinds of catalyst can also be "mixed"

The first successful harvest of joy, Sun Jianhuai team did not stop, they began the three catalyst "gradation mix" exploration. On the basis of repeatedly discussing and perfecting the catalyst performance, appearance, filling and gradation schemes, Zhenhai Refining & Chemical and Fushun Research Institute of Petrochemical Technology established the second stop-over replacement program.

In May 2014, a unit loaded with three different catalysts was put into operation. In order to adjust the catalyst activity, the company also boldly deactivated the reaction feed furnace. The result was just as expected: the quality and output of the product jumped again, and the energy consumption of the unit dropped again.

After repeated verification, Sun Jianhuai team "grading mix" technology is widely recognized, and in a number of domestic production facilities on the promotion and application, won the praise.

"At present, the domestic production process from the mineral water bottle, clothing chemical fiber, to the upstream production of aircraft, trucks and sedan oil is in use." Sun Jianhuai said with pride.

Technical breakthroughs have brought considerable economic benefits to Zhenhai Refining and Chemical. In the three years from 2014 to 2016 alone, the production facilities that participated in the technical tests added an additional 60 million yuan to the enterprises.

The technology also made a positive contribution to the protection of clear water and blue sky. The products of gasoline and diesel produced by Zhenhai Refinery are cleaner and more environmentally friendly. The annual energy consumption is equivalent to reducing more than 15,000 tons of coal.

Build a smart factory

Every technological breakthrough can not be separated without accumulation of innovation. For a long time, Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Technology as an enterprise product quality upgrades and production and operation of an important starting point to enhance the effectiveness of development and implementation of new product development "one product one policy team" management approach and "one case one consultant" application mode, And Fushun Petrochemical Research Institute and many other research institutes and universities to maintain long-term strategic cooperation, industry-university-research integration and achieved remarkable results.

In the "management + technology" dual-wheel drive, Zhenhai Refining & Chemical in recent years, a continuous breakthrough in a number of flue gas desulphurization and denitrification and other technologies to continuously develop the market much-needed oil refining and chemical products, breaking a number of foreign technology monopoly, the successful product Exports to Japan, Southeast Asia and other countries and regions.

Adhere to innovation-driven development, Zhenhai Refining and Chemical became the only domestic three consecutive years of profit over 10 billion yuan of petroleum refining enterprises.

"Now, we are fully promoting the construction of smart factories to create a world-class enterprises as the goal, help China's petrochemical industry turn the way, adjust the structure, improve efficiency and upgrade." Sun Jianhuai told reporters.