Abstract

This is a critical analysis of the technology of processes for the conversion of petroleum fractions ranging from propane and butane to Bunker "C" fuel oils into utility gases having heating values ranging from 400 to 1,100 British thermal units per standard cubic foot (3,500 to 10,000 kilocalories per normal cubic meter). Only cyclic processes now in substantial commercial use throughout the world are considered in detail. Emphasis is placed on the basic factors determining the yield and composition of products and on the effect of feedstock properties on the performance of the various processes.

Résumé

On présente une analyse critique des procédés de conversion des fractions pétrolières depuis le propane et le butane, jusqu'au fuel lourd "C" pour la production de gaz auxiliaire de pouvoir calorifique de 400 à 1,100 Btu/SCF (3,500 à 10,000 Kcal/m3). Seuls les procédés cycliques, maintenant d'utilisation commerciale courante à travers le monde, sont considérés en détail. Cette communication met particulièrement l'accent sur les facteurs fondamentaux qui déterminent le rendement et la composition des produits de réaction et l'influence des propriétés des matières primaires sur l'efficacité des divers procédés.

INTRODUCTION

Gasification of petroleum fractions, ranging from liquefied petroleum gases through the highest-boiling Bunker "C" fuel oils, is practised throughout the world for the purpose of producing basically two classes of fuel gases: town gases of approximately 450 to 550 Btu/SCF gross heating value, and high-Btu gases with heating values ranging from 900 to 1100 Btu/SCF. The lower heating value town gases are used in areas in which fuel gas distribution and utilization still follow the practices of the manufactured gas era during which coal was used as the basic raw material.

They are characterized by a relatively high hydrogen and carbon monoxide content, and a high burning velocity. In this way, they simulate the properties of the dominant sources of gas supply-coal retort, coke oven and water gas. The high-Btu gases are produced in areas which have converted to natural gas as the prime source of supply and, therefore, they attempt to simulate, as closely as possible, the properties of methane-the major constituent of natural gas.

The United States is typical of an area in which essentially all of the gas supply is natural gas and the only significant amount of manufactured gas produced is for purposes of meeting peak demands. The dominant source of these gases is liquefied petroleum gas mixed with air to reduce its heating value, with much by HENRY R. LINDEN, Institute of Gas Technology, U.S.A. lesser amounts of high heating value gas produced by various petroleum oil gasification processes and only a negligible amount of gas derived from coal. Much of Europe and parts of Japan and Australia are in an intermediate stage where, although subst

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