SIMULATION OF CO-PROCESSING BIO-OIL AND VGO IN FLUID CATALYTIC CRACKING UNITS
Biofuel is a promising substitute for fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to provide highly sustainable fuels. Several technical challenges are indeed present during upgrading bio-oil to transportation fuel on a large scale. Co-processing bio-oil with some petroleum fractions in existing refineries serves as an alternative method to minimise processing costs. This paper aims to evaluate the co-processing by exploring the effects of temperature, bio-oil ratios and types of bio-oil to the product yields and quality in a Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) unit within a refinery complex. The considered bio-oil are produced from pyrolysis of Palm Kernel Shell (PKS) and Empty Fruit bunch (EFB). The results show that bio-oil from PKS is better suited to produce gasoline due to its aromatic nature and its carbon range similarities compared to that from EFB. A mixture of 20% of hydrodeoxygenated (HDO) PKS in vacuum gas oil (VGO) shows a 5% improvement of naphtha yield while 20% raw bio-oil from PKS produces 4% increase in light cycle oil (LCO) yield.
Keywords: co-processing, fluid catalytic cracking, bio-oil, palm kernel shell, empty fruit bunch, simulation