Essential to today’s modern refineries and the gasoline production process are fluidized catalytic cracking units. By using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code developed at Argonne National Laboratory to simulate the riser, parametric and sensitivity studies were performed to determine the effect of catalyst inlet conditions on the riser hydrodynamics and on the product yields. Simulations were created on the basis of a general riser configuration and operating conditions. The results of this work are indications of riser operating conditions that will maximize specific product yields. The CFD code is a three-dimensional, multiphase, turbulent, reacting flow code with phenomenological models for particle-solid interactions, droplet evaporation, and chemical kinetics. The code has been validated against pressure, particle loading, and product yield measurements. After validation of the code, parametric studies were performed on various parameters such as the injection velocity of the catalyst, the angle of injection, and the particle size distribution. The results indicate that good mixing of the catalyst particles with the oil droplets produces a high degree of cracking in the riser.

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