Hydrogenation technology is an indispensable chemical upgrading process for inferior oil, in which a systematic research on reaction kinetic and process simulation enable to substantial understand the hydrogenation reaction behavior and to improve the economic benefit and auto-information level of actual hydrogenation unit. Recently, the professor Li’s research team at school of chemistry and chemical engineering reported the relevant research achievement and published two articles in famous international journals in the field of energy 《Fuel》 and 《Energy & Fuels》 with topic 《Modeling of kinetic-based catalyst grading for upgrading shale oil hydrogenation》and《Carbon number–based kinetics, reactor and process simulation for coal tar hydrogenation process》respectively. The journal editor pointed out that the proposed method exhibits a high flexibility in characterizing various complex inferior oil system.
A large amount of complex reactions are involved during inferior oil hydrogenation, thus it is impractical to develop accurate and reliable reaction kinetic by detailed analyzing the composition of inferior oil. The research team proposed a universal carbon-number lumping approach to represent the coal tar system, namely, the feedstock and product system were divided into the continuous carbon-number components. According to the hydrogenation reaction mechanism, the reaction kinetic model of coal tar hydrogenation based on carbon number lumping approach was constructed (Fig.1). On this basis, a non-isothermal reactor model was also established, the model accurately simulated and predicted the yield distribution of carbon number products and the temperature profile along with the reactor. In addition, the entire process simulation for coal tar hydrogenation was developed using Aspen Plus (Fig.2). The simulation provided a significant guide for the optimization and design of industrial-scale hydrogenation. The above work was published in the journal 《Energy & Fuels》(http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021%2Facs.energyfuels.5b01476)。
Loading of catalyst grading is the key aspect of fixed-bed hydrogenation technology. Appropriate grading ratio is beneficial in enhancing catalyst activity and working life, as well as improving the quality of desired products. Grading ratio is usually determined through experimental screening and artificial selection, which require a huge number of experiments with strong subjectivity and arbitrariness. The research team developed the model of kinetic-based catalyst grading for inferior oil hydrogenation, the model theoretically optimize the catalyst grading scheme. The experimental results also verify the feasibility of model. The relevant achievement was published in journal 《Fuel》（http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016236115010996）。
This work got strong support from the faculty of college of chemistry and National Natural Science Foundation of China (21276267).