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HEAVY CRUDE OIL
• Heavy oil is plentiful around the globe and will become an increasingly important
source of new crude supplies in the future.
• It is found offshore and onshore; in liquid form as in ‘conventional’heavy oil or in
solid form such as the bitumen in the Canadian oil sands.
• Heavy oil is unlike conventional oil. Generally, heavy oil targets are known with
depths identified and a general idea of the API gravity.
• Most of the world’s oil resources are heavy, viscous HC that are difficult and
costly to produce and refine, and with lower economic value.
• Besides, heavy oil tends to have high concentration of metal and other elements
which may also lead to high disposal of waste costing.
• Heavy crude oil: 23.3º API or less. If 10º API or less extra heavy, ultra heavy or
LUBE COMPOSITION AND PROPERTIES
n - Paraffins
i - Paraffins
mono - Naphthenes
di & higher Naphthenes
mono - Aromatics
di - Aromatics
tri & higher-Aromatics
HEAVY CRUDE OIL
• Why heavy oil demand increase?
• Resource are abundant (30% or world’s total oil are conventional oil and the
remainder in heavy oil, extraheavy oil or bitumen)
• Heavy oil reservoirs can be exploited profitably.
BASE OIL GROUPS
The American petroleum institute (API) classified several types of lubricant base oil:
1.Group I – saturates <90% and/or sulfur >0.03%, and society of automotive engineers
(SAE) viscosity index (VI) of 80 to 120. Manufactured by:
Solvent or catalytic dewaxing, and
Common group I base oil are 150sn (solvent neutral), 500sn, and
Viscosity-measurement of internal resistance to flow. Viscosity, thicker the oil and thicker the film of the oil
clings to a surface. Viscosity, BP.
Viscosity index (VI): the rate of change of viscosity with temperature of the oil.
2. Group II – saturates over 90% and sulfur under 0.03%, and SAE viscosity index
of 80 to 120. Manufactured by:
Hydrocracking and solvent or catalytic dewaxing processes.
Group II base oil has superior anti-oxidation properties since virtually
all hydrocarbon molecules are saturated. It has water-white color.
3. Group III – saturates > 90%, sulfur <0.03%, and SAE viscosity index over 120.
Manufactured by :
Special processes such as isohydromerization.
From base oil or slack wax from dewaxing process.
4. Group IV – polyalphaolefins (PAO)
5. Group V – all others not included above such as naphthenics, PAG (polyalkylene
COMMON ROUTE FOR BASE OIL PRODUCTIONDistillate/DAO
LUBE OIL PROCESSING
• The heavier lube oil raw stocks are included in the vacuum fractionating tower
bottoms with the asphaltenes, resins, and other undesirable materials.
• The raw lube oil fractions from most crude oil contain components that have
undesirable characteristic for finishing lubricating oils.
• The undesirable characteristics include high pour points, large viscosity changes
with temperature (low VI), poor oxygen stability, poor color, high cloud points,
high organic acidity, and high carbon and sludge tendencies.
• Processes used to change these characteristics are:
• Solvent deasphalting
• Solvent extraction and hydrocraking
• Solvent dewaxing & selective hydrocracking
• Hydrotreating and clay treating
TREATING / REFINING FOR LUBE PROCESSING
DEWAXING API GROUP I
API GROUP I IHYDRO-FINISHING
HYDRO-FINISHING API GROUP II
WAX ISOMERISATION API GROUP III
• After vacuum distillation, there are still some valuable oils left in the vacuum-reduced
• Vacuum tower distillation bottoms and other residuum feeds can be upgraded to higher
value products such as higher grade asphalt or feed to catalytic cracking processes.
• Residual upgrading includes processes where asphalt components are separated from gas
oil components by the use of a solvent.
• It also includes processes where the asphalt value of the residuum is upgraded (e.g., by
oxidation) prior to sale. Off-spec product and fines, as well as process sludges, are study
residuals from this category.
• Four types of residual upgrading processes:
• Solvent deasphalting
• Asphalt oxidation
• Supercritical extraction
• Asphalt emulsion
• Residuum from vacuum distillation is separated into asphalt components and gas oil
components by solvent deasphalting.
• The hydrocarbon solvent is compressed and contacted with the residuum feed. The
extract contains the paraffinic fractions (deasphalted oil or DAO), and the raffinate
contains the asphaltic components.
Vacuum residue contains paraffinic and naphthenic hydrocarbons as
well as aromatic. Their mixture at this stage is called DAO. Meaning
deasphalted oil, Products of this unit are oils and base asphalt.
SOLVENT DEASPHALTING (CONT’)
• The extract and raffinate streams are sent to separate solvent recovery
• Systems to reclaim the solvent. The DAO may be further refined or processed, used
as catalytic cracking feed, sent to lube oil processing/blending, or sold as finished
• The following types of solvents are typically used for the following residual
• Propane is the best choice for lube oil production due to its ability to extract only
paraffinic hydrocarbons and to reject most of the carbon residue.
• A mixture of propane & butane is valuable for preparing feedstocks for catalytic
cracking processes due to its ability to remove metal-bearing components.
• Pentane deasphalting, plus hydrodesulfurization, can produce more feed for catalytic
cracking or low sulfur fuel oil.
• One facility reported using propane and phenol solvents for deasphalting residuum. The
DAO is sent to lube oil processing and the asphalt fraction is sent to delayed coking or
fuel oil blending.
• Coke-forming tendencies of heavier distillation products are reduced by
removal of asphaltenic materials by solvent extraction.
• Liquid propane is a good solvent (butane and pentane are also commonly
• Deasphalting is based on solubility of hydrocarbons in propane.
• Vacuum residue is fed to a countercurrent deasphalting tower.
• Alkanes dissolve in propane whereas asphaltenic materials (aromatic
compounds), ‘coke-precursors’do not.
• Asphalt is sent for thermal processing.
LUBE REFINING PROCESSES
• Chemical, solvent, and hydrogen refining processes have been developed and
are used to remove aromatics and other undesirable constituents, and to improve
the viscosity index and quality of lube base stocks.
• Traditional chemical processes that use sulfuric acid and clay refining have been
replaced by solvent extraction/refining and hydrotreating which are more
effective, cost efficient, and environmentally more acceptable.
LUBE DEWAXING PROCESSES
• Lube feedstocks typically contain increased wax content resulting from
deasphalting and refining processes.
• Waxes are normally solid at ambient temperatures and must be removed to
manufacture lube oil products with the necessary low temperature properties.
• Catalytic dewaxing and solvent dewaxing (the most prevalent) are processes
currently in use; older technologies include cold settling, pressure filtration, and
Solvent extraction and dewaxing
• Solvent treating is a widely used method of refining lubricating oils as
well as a host of other refinery stocks.
• Since distillation (fractionation) separates petroleum products into
groups only by their boiling-point ranges, impurities may remain.
1. organic compounds containing sulfur, nitrogen, and oxygen
2. inorganic salts
3. dissolved metals
4. soluble salts that were present in the crude feedstock.
• In addition, kerosene and distillates may have trace amounts of
aromatics and naphthenes, and lubricating oil base-stocks may contain
• Solvent refining processes including solvent extraction and solvent
dewaxing usually remove these undesirables at intermediate refining
stages or just before sending the product to storage.
• The purpose of solvent extraction is to prevent corrosion, protect catalyst in
subsequent processes, and improve finished products by removing unsaturated
and aromatic hydrocarbons from lubricant and grease stocks.
• The solvent extraction process separates aromatics, naphthenes, and impurities
from the product stream by dissolving or precipitation.
• The feedstock is first dried and then treated using a continuous countercurrent
solvent treatment operation.
• In one type of process, the feedstock is washed with a liquid in which the
substances to be removed are more soluble than in the desired resultant
• In another process, selected solvents are added to cause impurities to precipitate
out of the product.
• In the adsorption process, highly porous solid materials collect liquid
molecules on their surfaces.
• The solvent is separated from the product stream by heating,
evaporation, or fractionation, and residual trace amounts are
subsequently removed from the raffinate by steam stripping or
• The most widely used extraction solvents are phenol, furfural,
and cresylic acid.
• Other solvents less frequently used are liquid sulfur dioxide,
nitrobenzene, and 2,2' dichloroethyl ether.
• The selection of specific processes and chemical agents depends on the
nature of the feedstock being treated, the contaminants present, and the
finished product requirements.
• Solvent dewaxing is used to remove wax from either distillate or residual base stock
at any stage in the refining process. There are several processes in use for solvent
dewaxing, but all have the same general steps, which are:
(1) mixing the feedstock with a solvent,
(2) precipitating the wax from the mixture by chilling,
(3) recovering the solvent from the wax and dewaxed oil for recycling by distillation
and steam stripping.
• Usually two solvents are used: toluene, which dissolves the oil and maintains
fluidity at low temperatures, and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), which dissolves
little wax at low temperatures and acts as a wax precipitating agent.
• Other solvents sometimes used include benzene, methyl isobutyl
ketone,propane, petroleum naphtha, ethylene dichloride, methylene chloride,
and sulfur dioxide.
• In addition, there is a catalytic process used as an alternate to solvent
SOLVENT DEWAXING UNIT (SDU)
Good qualities of dewaxing solvent blends:
High solvent power for oil & low solvent power for wax
Low visc. at operating temperature to get low pressure drop & to help in
Low freezing point & temperature effect of dewaxing
High thermal/chemical stability
Boiling point much lower than that of feed
Low latent heat/specific heat
LUBE HYDROFINISHING UNIT
Feed stock :
De-waxed oil (DWO) from solvent dewaxing unit (SDU).
HR348 supplied by procatalyse. High purity alumina extrudates impregnated
with nickel and molybdenum oxides
To improve color by removing Sulphur, oxygen & nitrogen in a reactor with
cobalt / moly catalyst.
Color, K.V at 100 oc, VI.
LUBE HYDROFINISHING UNIT
• Major reactions : hydrodesulphurization, mild hydrodenitrogenation, olefins
hydrogenation, mild aromatic hydrogenation, decomposition of heteromolecules.
• Sulphur is usually present as mercaptan, sulphides, disulphide and thiophenic
sulphur. Sulphur is removed as H2S.
• Nitrogen is usually present as ammines and pyrrole, pyridine etc. More difficult
reaction and ultimate product is hydrocarbon & ammonia.
• Olefins are present in low quantity & most of them are saturated during hydro
• Normally aromatics are not hydrogenated. Due to liberation of some aromatics
rings towards the light compounds are stripped off to reach the required flash
point. Thus results in slight viscosity index (VI) improvement also.
• Oxygenated compounds are mostly removed in the solvent extraction step. If
any remaining removed as water.
• As a result, color & color stability improves, mild VI improvement occurs,
product stabilization through saturation of poly nuclear aromatics.
HYDRO FINISHING UNIT
Main operating variables :
• Temperature: optimum to achieve desulphurization. Lower the temp, higher
is the product viscosity & yields
• Partial pressure of hydrogen : increase favors the reaction & reduces coke by
avoiding polymerization reaction. Can be modified by change in total
pressure and recycle ratio. Total pressure kept maximum compatible with the
• Space velocity : hourly volume flow rate of feed with respect to the catalyst
volume. Lower is the space velocity higher the severity. (0.75-1.3 m3 of feed
per m3 of catalyst)
• Mole ratio of hydrogen/hydrocarbon: includes quantity needed for hydro
finishing + quantity which increases the partial pressure of hydrogen
• Feed quality: higher the impurities higher the severity