Refiners are looking for ways to improve hydroprocessing flexibility and meet increasing demand for cleaner fuels. Shell Global Solutions has developed reactor internals technology that equips you better for these challenges.

Shell Ultra-Flat Quench (UFQ) interbed internals can offer increased cycle lengths, throughput and conversion rates, and improved quality, thereby helping to make stringent product goals achievable.

About the technology

Extensive testing with simulated conditions has enabled the development of Shell UFQ interbed internals. These occupy less than 1.2 m of reactor height while keeping the pressure drop to about 0.1 bar (1.5 psi) for optimal liquid-gas mixing and quenching. Integration with Shell high-dispersion (HD) trays also enables improved reactor performance for retrofit and new-build applications.

Process Description

Designed specifically to mix the gas and liquid phases separately, Shell UFQ interbed internals can achieve excellent mixing performance regardless of quench load. Control of the reactor unit is also significantly improved owing to the reduction in radial temperature gradient. Consequently, smaller variations in radial temperature maldistribution result in a higher achievable WABT, a performance characteristic that enables an increased cycle length (see Figure 1).

Performance data

For optimum catalyst utilisation, the radial temperature must be uniform throughout the catalyst bed. Shell UFQ interbed internals have the ability to improve thermal continuity by up to 25 times compared with conventional mixing technology. Such a large improvement potentially means it is possible to achieve more stringent product specifications, increased cycle length or higher unit throughputs.

Business value

Whether retrofitted or incorporated into new reactors, Shell UFQ interbed internals have the potential to improve catalyst utilisation within a wide operating window (–50% to +20% of normal operating throughput) and for different feed qualities.

While increasing unit margins by improving catalyst performance, Shell UFQ interbed internals are also quick and easy to install for enhanced safety and shorter turnaround times. With more than 20 years of ongoing improvement to and installation experience with Shell UFQ interbed internals, Shell is well prepared to put its technology to work for you.

Have you considered how you can?

  • Minimize thermal maldistribution?
  • Increase production capacity and catalyst volume?
  • Potentially double your cycle length?
  • Develop new high-quality products that meet clean fuel specifications?
  • Process more difficult feeds?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, Shell Global Solutions would like to discuss with you how to help improve your operations and boost your margin. Contact us.

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About Reactor internals

Shell’s latest-generation reactor internals technology is applied to grass-roots units and is used for replacing lower-performing trays in revamps. Shell has over 25 years of operational experience with reactor internals.