PRESENTATION ON PLATFORMING UNITS BY YPF’S LUJÁN DE CUYO REFINERY TECHNICIANS
Last July 8, ARPEL’s Refining Committee organized a virtual workshop on Best Platforming Units Practices, which was led by technicians Agustín de la Torre and Eduardo Salcedo, from YPF’s Luján de Cuyo Refinery.
In 2018, the catalyst was changed (new technology) in the Platforming Unit of the Luján de Cuyo Refinery, with the purpose of reaching two years of operation at maximum load and a RON (research octane number) of 98.
The goal was not achieved and, although several studies were performed to look for the root cause of the problem, the issue is not clear yet. At the meeting, YPF professionals made a presentation on the works carried out and sought suggestions that might help find a possible solution or actions to help mitigate the problem.
The most important efficiency indicator is the duration of the operating cycle, and this was the main topic of this virtual meeting for the exchange of best practices.
In the case presented by the YPF experts, the operating cycles were significantly reduced and, although all the catalyst manufacturer’s recommendations were analyzed and taken into account, the unit operators are not clear about what is causing the problem.
Platforming units are essential in oil refineries for the production of high octane gasoline, so their correct operation is fundamental for their economy. A PU is a plant with fixed-bed reactors that uses alumina-based catalyst and whose active centers use platinum. Depending on temperature, precision and other variables, the PU transforms paraffinic and naphthenic hydrocarbons into aromatics and isoparaffins (these components improve the RON of gasoline).
Link to the virtual workshop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9Zd7j-SPjk