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Case Study

Propylene recovery in the Americas

Top of towers of a refinery, with an orange sky background.

Improving propylene recovery for value-add in petrochemicals production.

The situation

We delivered an FEL-0 study to analyze options to improve capacity in our client’s FCC gas system. We focused on the propylene recovery unit, and how to  maximize the propylene feed to the downstream polypropylene unit. 

Our approach

Our study targeted two main areas:

  • Increasing capacity in the propylene recovery unit (primary focus)
  • Increasing propylene recovery.

To do this, we analyzed the system for areas of possible propylene losses in the recovery unity. We brainstormed a list of potential options for increasing capacity without sacrificing product purity, and then modeled the options using process simulation software. We evaluated the most technically and economically viable options for:

  • equipment sizing
  • preliminary capital cost estimating
  • estimated relative operating cost.

To look at increasing propylene recovery, we analyzed options and modeled options using process simulation software. Our analysis looked at the impact of lean oil composition, flow, and process conditions to maximize propylene recovery

The results

Our final evaluation presented a clear path forward for our client to increase capacity of the existing recovery unit and to increase recovery across the gas system.

The study included:

  • brainstorming a list of potential options for increasing capacity in the propylene unit without sacrificing product purity 
  • modeling the options using process simulation software
  • evaluating the most technically and economically viable options for:
    • equipment sizing 
    • preliminary capital cost estimating
    • estimated relative operating cost
  • analyzing options for increasing propylene recovery in the upstream light ends units
  • modeling options using process simulation software to analyze the impact of lean oil composition, flow, and process conditions to maximize propylene recovery.