Urgent demand for light oils and strict laws of environmental protection make it important for refiners to convert heavier oils into lighter and more valuable products efficiently. Hydroprocessing technology is one of the major residue upgrading processes and it is performed with a series of reactors, each with different catalyst for different function. Depending on the residue properties, the reactors in the hydroprocessing unit may be fixed-bed, moving-bed, ebullated-bed, slurry-bed or a combination. The present article discussed the useful patents in the field of heavy oil hydroprocessing technologies. The latest development and application of hydroprocessing technologies were reviewed. Comparison of catalysts used in the processes such as solid powder catalysts and homogeneous dispersed catalysts were also examined. There is not a general rule that can give a solution to all refineries, and the final choice should be made by comprehensive consideration of feed property, product demand and economic benefit.
Keywords: Heavy oil, hydroprocessing, catalyst, reactor
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