Currently, Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) is used to convert crude oil into gasoline and base chemicals, such as propylene, which we can use for making plastics. There is a need to shift from fossil to more renewable resources and therefore it would be advantageous if we could develop proper FCC technology to turn biomass into a biobased feedstock for the production of fuels and chemicals. The performance of these FCC processes in terms of making the right products is not yet very well understood. It is known that the heterogeneous nature of the reactor mixture (gas-liquid-solid) has a large impact on the overall performance. We will develop a detailed reactor model that predicts the performance based on first principles, which can be used to test different scenarios for the operation of these reactors. For this purpose, a labscale FCC unit will be made in a mirror project to verify the theoretical predictions regarding heat/mass flow and overall cracking performance.
Project leader: Dr. Niels Deen