At the heart of refining heavy slurries for use in the industrial world, fluid catalytic cracking is a technology that is over a hundred years old! It was first used in 1915 in an attempt to crack heavy petroleum oils – but the cost was so expensive, it took decades of refinement before it was readily available for commercial use. Now, fluid catalytic cracking is one of the most important conversion processes used in petroleum refineries.
The process is now the primary means of converting heavy hydrocarbon feeds into lighter products – the things we value. Additives help the process by minimizing waste and increasing the octane number. The catalyst particles, hydrocarbon feedstock and steam are combined and passed through a reactor in order to create an evenly dispersed slurry. Mixing, therefore, is the most important part of successful fluid catalytic cracking!
The feedstock is heated to a high temperature and then brought into contact with a hot catalyst, which breaks the chain of the molecules, then collected as vapor. Crude oil in particular benefits from this process, which converts the slurry into market demand for gasoline. Crude oil is considered an extremely heavy slurry, and additives introduced into this stream must have micro-homogeneity. This is where an inline static mixer can make all the difference.
Komax inline static mixers offer extraordinary predictability, right down to the micro level. Once a sample is taken, you can expect to get the same temperature and velocity profile anywhere in the mixing tank – critical to estimating profits. What energy source is used to produce these results? Gravity, making this process one of the most energy efficient in the entire process. But our mixers cost less right from the start, and with a lack of maintenance costs and long life, you can expect stellar results with no wear and tear – and more profit to your bottom line.
See how Komax can benefit your fluid catalytic cracking process through simple and innovative designs.