441683 Conversion of a Flexible Cracker to a Mostly Ethane Feed

Thursday, April 14, 2016: 10:05 AM
Grand Ballroom BC (Hilton Americas - Houston)
David Gent, NOVA Chemicals Corporation, Red Deer, AB, Canada

Recent NGL feedstock opportunities that have arisen from shale gas development has led to the goal of processing large volumes of ethane feed in flexible feed crackers. This type of processing can result in some unique challenges for plants that have traditionally processed significant quantities of liquid feedstocks.

This paper will discuss the conversion of a flexible liquids and gas fed cracker to an all gas feed with the primary feed constituent being ethane. An overview of the process systems that are most affected will be provided together with a review of some of the most significant issues and how they can be addressed. The design approach to some specific areas of modification will be discussed and some of the operating results will be described. Future challenges for phased expansion of ethylene production and full conversion to ethane will be briefly outlined.

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