VMGSim Refinery Reactor


The VMGSim Refinery Reactor is a complete set of reactor models that can cover the simulation of all the different refinery process units between crude fractionation to the refinery’s final products including gasoline and diesel. The Refinery Reactor technology, in conjunction with our PIONA model, empowers the simulation of the entire refinery plant containing catalytic cracking FCC, catalytic reforming CCR, hydrocracking, hydrotreating, and delayed coking in a single platform flowsheet. VMGSim PIONA modeling enables the creation of a hydrocarbon component list, characterization of hydrocarbon streams, and prediction of hydrocarbon properties at any point in the flowsheet. (PIONA: paraffins, iso-paraffins, olefins, naphthenes, aromatics and dehydrogenated aromatics.)


PIONA Molecular Modeling Structure
Reaction kinetic pathways relate to the carbon number & molecular structure type


VMGSim Reactor Suite technology is categorized into thermal reactors like ethylene cracker, delayed coker and catalytic reactors including CCR and FCC. To simulate your plant with the VMGSim Refinery Reactors reactor feed specification (component list, composition and operating condition), reactor geometry, catalyst specification for catalytic reactor, and product specification are needed. If there is a fractionation downstream of the reactor the availability of top, middle, and bottom products specification can help reaction tuning.


Other companies have their own technology and confidential catalyst, which modifies kinetic reactions pathway in the reactor and improves product yields. The VMGSim Reactor Suite has solved this missing information part of the puzzle due to catalyst function with kinetic tuning and regression tools. In this way, the VMGSim Refinery Reactor model can simulate any refinery reactor (fixed, moving, fluidized type reactor) including different types of catalyst technology. 

Bi-functional Catalyst


For every type of reactor, related process variables are considered in the results like RON for FCC and CCR, desulfurization for hydrotreater, and H2 to hydrocarbon ratio for hydroprocessing.

In catalytic units like catalytic reforming and hydroprocessing units, applied catalysts have two sides, metal and acid. Hydrogenation/dehydrogenation reactions occur on the metal side while cracking/ isomerization happens on the acid side. A comprehensive catalyst deactivation model has been developed for the VMGSim Reactor Suite that predicts coking, sintering, and poisoning contribution of catalyst deactivation. The precise bi-functional catalyst deactivation model has considered dependency of H2 amount, temperature, feed quality, and contamination. It also includes increased pressure drop calculations due to catalyst coking. The comprehensive catalyst activity model contains the additives (promotor or inhibitor) effect on activity and reactor performance like ZSM-5 and bottom cracker additives in FCC.

The ethylene cracker is a thermal cracking furnace that is used to produce ethylene and propylene in some refineries. In this reactor, tube materials play as catalyst, which boost coke formation on tube surface. Coking reduces heat transfer and increases pressure drop. VMGSim ethylene cracker enables the prediction of both kinds of coking, catalytic and asymptotic, on the tube surface. VMGSim can also predict the impact of coke inhibitor on the rate and thickness of coke formation on both light and heavy feed. It is observed that coke inhibitors like DMDS (dimethyl disulfide) have an opposite effect on light and heavy feedstock. 

Ghoncheh Rasouli, Ph.D., Process Simulator Software Developer, VMG Calgary 

Please contact your local VMG office for more information.

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