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Effect of pretreatment on the performance of metal-contaminated fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts
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Effects of both hydrogen and methane pretreatment on the performance of metal-contaminated equilibrium fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts from a refinery were investigated. Both hydrogen and methane pretreatment at 700°C were proven to be advantageous since the yields of hydrogen and coke from sour imported gas oil (SIHGO) cracking decrease while light cycle oil (LCO) and gasoline yields increase. The catalysts pretreated with hydrogen have shown slightly better improvement than the catalysts pretreated with methane. The decrease in the yields of hydrogen and coke was attributed to decrease in the dehydrogenation activity of vanadium oxides, which are present at high concentrations on the equilibrium FCC catalysts. This decrease in dehydrogenation activity after the pretreatment was also confirmed by low hydrogen-to-methane ratio. It was found that reduced vanadium has lower dehydrogenation activity since it produces less coke and hydrogen compared to oxidized vanadium. Hydrogen transfer reactions were evaluated by measuring C4 paraffin-to-C4 olefin ratios. Hydrogen transfer reactions decreased with increasing metal concentration. Both hydrogen and methane pretreatment caused the hydrogen transfer reactions to increase. Improved hydrogen transfer reactions caused an increase in the gasoline range products.