US refiners seek newer technologies to optimise diesel output

13 March 2012 21:03  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN DIEGO, California (ICIS)--The demand for diesel is growing faster than that for gasoline, causing refiners to seek newer technology to optimise production of the fuel, the director of a US-based engineering firm said on Tuesday.

To get the most diesel production, refiners need newer technologies, such as aromatic extraction from the gasoline and naphtha recycling from the fluid catalytic cracking units, said Phillip Niccum, director of fluid catalytic technology at KBR. He made his comments at the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) annual meeting.

“We have lots of opportunities to consider. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this, but there are different technologies available to suit budgets and requirements,” he said.

The trend is countering the basic nature of a catalytic cracker, Niccum said.

“A catalytic cracker wants to destroy diesel if you put it in,” Niccum said. “In the refining industry, I think what we’ve been seeing is crude distillation improvements to get more diesel because it’s safer to invest in.”

The catalyst industry is constantly evolving to different needs, he said.

The AFPM annual meeting ends on Tuesday.

By: Anna Matherne

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