Process Consulting Services has performed both revamps and grassroots projects on lube vacuum units, some of which process over 100 Mbpd. Lube vacuum units fractionate atmospheric residue into products for further downstream processing. Optimizing column operating pressure, heater outlet temperature and stripping section performance ensures lube product yields are maximized, which is vital as lube product values can be $60-$80 per barrel higher than vacuum residue. Unlike fuels vacuum towers, lube towers must fractionate the feed to maximize the highest valued products while maintaining quality that allows optimum downstream processing.
Maximizing fractionation efficiency in large diameter packed vacuum columns requires excellent liquid distribution and proper internals designs. At Process Consulting Services all essential process and equipment design is performed in-house, including the design of the column internals. By designing the internals we eliminate the typical pitfall that commonly occurs when mass transfer vendors are forced to cut corners in their proposed equipment design in order to win the job. Our design packages ensure that the equipment is efficient, flexible, and reliable enough to meet our clients’ objectives.