The performance of hydroprocessing reactors is determined not only by the catalyst loaded but also by the performance of their internals. Shell Catalysts & Technologies’ reactor internals technology uniformly distributes liquid and gas, minimises thermal maldistribution, and maximises catalyst volume and utilisation. This enables improved performance and can enhance safety.
Could latest-generation reactor internals unlock additional value for you?
Shell Catalysts & Technologies’ state-of-the-art reactor internals technology enables increased active catalyst volume to be loaded and almost 100% of the catalyst particles to be used. Combined with near-perfect vapour-liquid distribution and elimination of radial maldistribution, they can significantly improve the performance of the reactor. Typical performance improvements are increased cycle length, the ability to process more severe feeds, increase product yields or improve product properties. Additionally, they will enable shorter turn-around time and can increase process safety. Shell Catalysts & Technologies’ state-of-the-art reactor internals are critical for applications with more stringent product specifications, such as ultra-low-sulphur diesel production, high margin applications such as hydrocrackers, as well as for the safety and reliability in high reactive feed applications such as C4/C5 and Pygas hydrogenation in petrochemical plants.
Our filter trays reduce pressure drop build-up and maximise unit run length. Advanced fouling abatement technologies are of uttermost importance as the refining industry is processing increasingly difficult feedstocks.
Enhance your performance
Shell reactor internals can be used to help enhance your performance through:
- improved safety;
- extended cycle lengths;
- increased throughput capacity, processing of more difficult feeds, meeting tighter product specifications and increasing and/or modifying product yields
- elimination of pressure drop problems
- shorter turnaround times and more days on stream;
- improved return on investment in reactors and catalyst systems.
About the technology
Shell Catalysts & Technologies’ reactor internals have continuously advanced through the use of the organisation’s pressurised testing facilities and advanced computer simulations, and experience from customer and Shell affiliated refineries and petrochemical plants. The technology is applied to grass-roots units and for replacing lower-performing trays in revamps. To date, our reactor internals have over 25 years of operational experience and have been designed for over 1500 applications, most of which have been for non-Shell customers.
Key characteristics and advantages include:
- minimum pressure drop;
- small space requirement enabling more space for active catalyst;
- no distributive packing required;
- robust performance over a wide operating window, including a high tolerance to tray tilt; and
- a bolt-less, weld-less and ergonomic design that facilitates quick installation, easy maintenance and a minimised turn-a-round time.
In addition, we provide our customers with a tailored design and a range of support services that can include thermocouple advice, complete project management, tray delivery, and on-site installation advice.
Despite the important role that reactor internals play, many refineries may be failing to capture the maximum value from their units. This is often the case when existing reactor internals may appear to be working well but there is significant additional profit to be made from improved designs that can enhance performance further.
Shell Reactor Internals
Title: Shell Reactor Internals
Description: Shell’s experienced Reactor Internals team reduces the fear and nervousness associated with shutting down a part of your refinery, making the process quick, simple, easy and pain-free. It’s a relationship with us, not just a business transaction. That relationship ends up in value to you as a customer and long-term satisfaction.
Title: Shell Reactor Internals - Transcript
[Background music plays]
Emotive, piano led pop track with strong build at moderate pace.
Animation begins with hand drawing two gray puzzle pieces on a white background. Puzzle pieces move together but cannot interlock. Puzzle pieces move toward camera out of frame to reveal a yellow and gray hydroprocessing unit on the right half of the screen. On the left half is a clipboard with a checklist of Objectives. Hand checks off Xs in three boxes.
I had a problem. My hydroprocessing unit seemed to be operating at its best, but it wasn’t achieving my objectives. I called Shell and they quickly discovered massive untapped potential!
Yellow and gray hydroprocessing unit moves left to join Shell Pecten logo on screen. Magnifying glass icon moves over hydroprocessing unit to reveal hidden dollar signs.
The unit could make more profit, speed up turnarounds and significantly improve safety.
A hand draws a gray horizontal line, out of which a tree grows on the left, with yellow circles hanging off the branches. Gray dollar signs are in the circles. A gray animated clock icon is joined by a gray safety vest icon to the right of the tree.
The data was compelling, but I didn't know where to start.
Hand draws four gray arrows pointing up, down, left and right. In the center is a line graph and pie chart surrounded by gray question marks. Hand comes in with a yellow towel and wipes away the drawing.
Luckily, a friendly Shell representative walked me through the whole process, step-by-step, over a cup of coffee.
Female avatar with a red shirt and brown hair is surrounded by a yellow circle. Her head moves slightly back and forth. A hand draws a cup of coffee next to the woman, and the coffee cup slowly drains as a slurping sound is heard.
As an owner/operator with 30 years’ worth of successful retrofits, including on their own units, Shell has seen it all. They have real-life data showing the performance, efficiency and safety gains.
A hand draws a line from left to right with multiple points along it. At each of those points are images of documents, a calculator, graphs, and text message icons. Near the center of the line is a large yellow trophy with the words “30 YEARS EXPERIENCE” on it.
They design, engineer, fabricate and deliver the reactor internals to site. They even make sure the internals are installed correctly! I just needed to supply some basic process data.
A hand draws four gray icons. A set of blueprints and a compass represent “DESIGN” upper left. A man in a hard hat with a set of blueprints represents “ENGINEER” upper right. A welder’s mask and torch represent “FABRICATION” lower left. A box truck represents “SHIPPING” lower right. Truck drives to the right leaving the other icons behind and arrives at a yellow and gray hydroprocessing unit. Truck disappears behind unit and a hand holding a wrench icon is revealed with a check mark.
For the Shell team, revamps are standard, everyday work and they have dedicated process and mechanical engineers. Our own unit engineers, maintenance and turnaround staff were encouraged to ask loads of questions on the revamp process and the actual execution. That was huge for us!
A hand draws the words “UNIT ENGINEERS” at the top center of the screen and “SHELL SPECIALISTS” at the bottom. A red and yellow circle forms at the center, around which six engineer avatars appear. The Unit Engineers are in blue shirts and hard hats. The Shell Specialists are in yellow hardhats and red shirts. A series of red message icons pop up around the circle adorned with yellow question marks or text lines. Red and blue hands reach out from four points along the circle and join in the middle.
We were offered the option of all new thermography as part of Shell’s reactor internals design, based on Shell’s own guidelines.
A hand draws a yellow reactor center right of the screen, Chambers are blue, green and amber from bottom to top. Gray “THERMAL DIAGNOSTICS” text appears to the left above a gray gauge icon. Multi-colored pie charts animate along with gray dotted lines as the gauge needle moves back and forth.
Shell also completed a thermal stability study of the reactors and offered to do a health check on the unit.
Reactor internals chambers slowly turn from three colors to a uniform purple. “ALL NEW THERMOGRAPHY RECOMMENDED” text appears to the right of the unit.
The best part? Our involvement would be minimal.
A hand draws gray text: “OUR INVOLVEMENT WOULD BE MINIMAL”. Text pushes toward viewer before sliding up out of frame.
We could rely on Shell’s experts to monitor the design, fabrication, inspection and delivery of all hardware, allowing us to focus on the turnaround and save time in the execution. The Reactor Internals were delivered several weeks ahead of schedule to avoid delays.
Yellow reactor unit is at the right side of the screen. To the left is a checklist with four gray text items:
A hand moves in and makes green check marks one at a time.
Yellow reactor unit moves to the left. Gray calendar icon appears on the right. An animated clock is at the upper left of the calendar and a check mark is lower right. Three white boxes are carried softly downward by red parachutes as a hand makes a green check mark on the calendar.
At turnaround time, they worked onsite with my loading contractor to make sure the reactor internals installation went quickly and perfectly. Shell insisted on practice installs outside the reactor and provided hands-on training for the crew. Their clear and concise demolition package allowed our contractor to easily remove the old internals.
Hand quickly draws a construction scene with the yellow reactor in the center. A group of gray construction vehicles moves slowly toward the unit. Avatar in blue hard hat and shirt is below LOADING CONTRACTOR text center left. Three avatars in yellow hard hats and red shirts are labeled SHELL TEAM center right. Avatars disappear and two large yellow construction cranes move into frame on either side of the reactor unit.
All reactor internals were installed quickly, without any problems. Lastly, the new thermography was quickly mounted and it was confirmed that all temperature indicators were working and the reactors were ready to go.
Zoom-in to a tight shot of the reactor unit, which shows a reddish-purple interior. To the left of the unit is gray text that reads THERMAL DIAGNOSTICS above an animated gauge icon along with multi-colored pie charts. To the right of the unit is text that reads THERMOGRAPHY above a series of wavy red lines and descending red arrows.
The unit was loaded with Shell catalyst. Their loading supervisor ensured perfect even loading, and that their loading diagram was followed with precision.
Yellow reactor unit is far left of the screen. Green dots begin to flow into the reactor to represent catalyst material. Text reading SHELL CATALYST is to the right of the reactor unit. An avatar in a yellow hard hat and red shirt representing the Shell loading supervisor appears to the right of the reactor. A gray spinning gear is just to the right of the avatar. A hand draws a gray loading diagram to the lower left of the avatar and a check mark appears lower right.
The unit started smoothly, as promised! Their catalyst consultant and mechanical people stayed onsite to advise. By now, Shell was part of our team.
Green material begins to fill the reactor from the bottom up, creating a more uniform green color. Once the green fills to the top, black dots start to sprinkle into the reactor. Three avatars with yellow hard hats and red shirts reveal on the right side of the screen.
The cycle life was extended and the yields were improved, despite processing heavier feeds.
Black material inside reactor begins to fill the chamber, creating a uniform black color. A line graph and pie chart reveal beneath the SHELL CATALYST text.
Our staff says the Shell Reactor Internals are faster to open, close, clean, exchange catalyst, and no power tools or hot work are required, We all feel safer entering the reactor.
Reactor filled with black material moves to the right of the screen. Three blue avatars representing unit engineers appear to the left along with a checklist in gray text. A hand moves in to make green checkmarks on:
FASTER TO OPEN
FASTER TO CLOSE
QUICKER TO CLEAN
FASTER CATALYST EXCHANGE
NO POWER TOOLS OR HOT WORK REQUIRED
This unit is now performing better than any of us thought it could. Shell can also help debottleneck units, solve pressure drop issues and find clever ways to make even more profit. We can’t wait to have them look at the rest of our operation.
Reactor unit with black material moves to the center of the screen and a gray clipboard is revealed on the left that reads OBJECTIVES. A hand moves in to make three green check marks in the boxes. The hand then moves to the right of the reactor and draws a de-bottlenecked reactor unit, a drop of oil and a graph in succession. The graph includes an ascending arrow on the right with a dollar sign attached. The scene disappears and two hands come in from either side of the screen to shake in the center.
[Red and Blue text]
SHELL CATALYSTS & TECHNOLOGIES
TRANSFORMING ENERGY TOGETHER
Shell music out
Discover new value with Shell Catalysts & Technologies' Reactor Internals
Previously, the conversation around optimising fixed-bed catalytic reactors performance did not include reactor internals. Shell Catalysts & Technologies is changing that conversation by addressing reactor operability issues through their Reactor Internals technology.
The results speak for themselves. There was a result of a 20% increase in volume in one case. In throughput, there was a 28% increase in effective catalyst volume, unit produced 10ppm ULSD (Diesel Hydrotreater, Sweden). Refiners saw ROI in less than a year through an increased cycle time and improved product quality (Lube Oil Hydrotreater, South Korea). Other partners found $ 2.56M in savings due to a shorter turnaround by four days (One Customer, Shell Partner).
Refiners can substantially improve the profitability of hydroprocessing reactors by installing the latest-generation reactor internals form Shell Catalysts & Technologies.
Installing Shell’s combined Filter/High-Dispersion trays, and Shell top-bed grading systems can significantly reduce pressure drop issues and increase cycle length.