The central principle of the IsoTherming® technology is the ability to provide the hydrogen necessary for the chemical reactions using a liquid stream, rather than a recycle gas system as is done with conventional hydtrotreating technology. The reactor feed is saturated with hydrogen, which eliminates the need for a costly recycle gas compressor, associated high pressure separations equipment and amine absorber. To satisfy the hydrogen requirements within the reactor, additional hydrogen can be added by means of an external liquid recycle stream or inter-bed hydrogen injection.
Unique to the liquid-full reactor operation, the IsoTherming® technology ensures the catalyst is completely wetted thus drawing the heat of reaction away from the catalyst surface and minimizing local hot spots. In addition, even liquid flow throughout the catalyst bed results in a uniform radial temperature profile. The liquid flow regime within the reactor minimizes light ends generation and catalyst deactivation due to reduced coke formation.
The type of hydroprocessing application, product specifications, and chemical hydrogen requirements dictate optimal reactor design considerations. These include, but are not limited to, number of catalyst beds and recycle ratio. The IsoTherming® reactor design is robust to ensure hydrogen availability from fluctuating feedstocks. This flexibility allows refiners the ability to process a wide variety of feeds to maximize refinery profits.
DuPont provides reactor internals specifically engineered and manufactured for the IsoTherming® technology as part of the proprietary equipment offering.