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Publication Title | Closed-loop Optimization of a Solvent Dewaxing Plant

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Advanced Industrial Modeling, Inc.
Closed-loop Optimization of a Solvent Dewaxing Plant
W. J. Korchinski H. R. Schulz Dr-Ing. B. Werner R. E. Heersink:
Honeywell Profimatics DEA Mineraloel AG DEA Mineraloel AG Honeywell Profimatics
A non-linear steady state closed-loop optimization is running at the DEA Mineraloel AG Grasbrook solvent dewaxing facility. The equation-oriented form of the model provides for speed and flexibility. Rapidly changing plant configurations and operating modes are automatically detected by the software so that the model configuration always matches the plant exactly. The model is particularly robust in the face of measurement error, noise, and non-steady state behavior.
The Solvent Dewaxing Process
The purpose of solvent dewaxing is
to separate lubricating oils and paraffinic waxes from a feedstock consisting of lube oil fractions.
Although there are many process variants, all commercial solvent dewaxing plants contain common features:
• feed chilling train
• solvent injection
• rotating drum filter(s)
• solvent wash
• solvent recovery
harder wax (less oil content), and higher pour point oil (more wax content).
DEA Grasbrook Plant
The dewaxing and deoiling facilities at DEA's Grasbrook refinery consist of the following major equipment (see Figure 1):
Dewaxing 1
Chilling train Dewaxing filters (3)
Dewaxing 2
Chilling train Dewaxing filters (4)
Feed heating Deoiling filter (1)
This plant operates in one of seven possible configurations to produce one of 12 distinct products. Dewaxing stage 1 contains up to three filters in parallel. Dewaxing stage 2 contains up to four filters in parallel. The deoiler is a single filter. Dewaxing stages 1 and 2 operate
in parallel, with each normally making a different set of products. The Deoiler can follow either of the two dewaxing units depending on the operation.
In a single dewaxing unit feed oil combines with primary solvent and enters the chilling train which cools it to a temperature set by the pour point specification of the filtrate product. The chilled feed then combines with secondary solvent dilution (recycled wash filtrate) and enters the baths of the individual filters. Liquid flowing through the filter cloth enters filtrate solvent recovery where solvent is stripped from the filtrate product (lubricating oil). The slurry of wax crystals entering the filter bath forms a cake along the surface of the rotating filter drum. Cold solvent (cold wash) washes the cake to remove residual oil from the wax.
If the deoiling unit is out of service, the wax/solvent mixture from the dewaxer enters solvent recovery where slack wax product separates from solvent.
In most plants there are a number of stages each of which makes an oil/wax separation. The first stage (often called a dewaxing stage) separates feed into wax with a high oil content (slack wax) and oil with a low wax content (lube stock). Downstream stages (eg: Deoiling) are fed slack wax from the first stage and produce progressively
Hydrocarbon Technology International, Spring 1995

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