ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing has announced an agreement with Sinochem Hongrun Petrochemical Co Ltd, to license ExxonMobil’s Flexicoking technology to build a resid upgrading unit at Sinochem Hongrun’s High-End Chemical Park located in Binhai Economic-Technological Development Area, Weifang City, Shandong Province, China.

This grassroots unit will process about 1.2-mtpa of vacuum residue feedstock and enable Sinochem Hongrun to produce high quality liquid products including clean transportation fuels and chemical feedstocks as well as clean-burning fuel gas. The project is currently in the engineering design phase and targeted for start-up in 2020.

“ExxonMobil’s Flexicoking technology offers greater flexibility than conventional delayed coking,” said Mr. Chris Birdsall, President of ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing. “The application of this technology will help the Sinochem Hongrun refinery optimise resid upgrading by minimising capital investment and energy consumption,” he added.

The process technology also provides significant environmental advantages by eliminating open air coke handling and coal transportation and reducing fired heater emissions due to the clean-burning fuel gas produced by the Flexicoking unit.

The Flexicoking technology is a continuous fluid-bed technology that thermally converts heavy oils – such as vacuum resid, oil sands bitumen, deasphalter bottoms and FCC bottoms – to lighter, more valuable products. By integrating fluid coking with air-steam gasification, Flexicoking technology substantially eliminates petroleum coke production while providing a clean fuel gas. As a result, the process offers comparatively greater flexibility when upgrading residuum.