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Keywords:

  • lumped kinetics;
  • mathematical modeling;
  • phase equilibria;
  • hydrocracking;
  • Fischer-Tropsch waxes;
  • paraffins

Abstract

A lumped kinetic model to describe the hydrocracking of complex mixtures of paraffins, such as Fischer-Tropsch waxes, has been developed. A Langmuir-Hinshelwood-Hougen-Watson approach has been followed, accounting for physisorption by means of the Langmuir isotherm. Finally, a complete form of the rate expression is used, thus introducing the equilibrium constants for dehydrogenation and protonation elementary steps. To minimize the number of model parameters, the kinetic and thermodynamic constants are defined as functions of the chain length. Vapor–liquid equilibrium is calculated along the reactor, and the hydrocarbons concentrations are described by means of fugacity. The model provides quite a good fitting of experimental results and is able to predict the effects of the operating conditions (temperature, pressure, H2/wax ratio, and WHSV). Outstandingly, the estimated values and trends of the kinetic and thermodynamic constants (activation energies, Langmuir adsorption constants, etc.) are in line with their physical meaning. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2011