Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Franco Berruti

2nd Supervisor

Cedric Briens

Joint Supervisor


In an industrial Fluid CokerTM, liquid bitumen is injected into a bed of hot coke particles through spray nozzles, grouped in several banks at different vertical positions. The main objective of this thesis is to determine whether significant improvements in liquid-solid contact could be achieved by optimizing the location of the spray nozzles. In the coker regions where bitumen is injected, the gas is a mixture of product vapors and steam. Steam introduced at different levels rises through the coker: the stripping steam is injected near the bottom, then the attrition steam above the stripper and finally the bitumen atomization steam. As a result, the cross-sectional averaged gas velocity greatly varies vertically, from the lowest spray bank to the highest spray bank. In addition, there are large radial variations in gas velocity, as gas bubbles tend to concentrate in the central region of the bed. In this study, the impacts on liquid-solid contact of gas velocity and uneven gas distribution were investigated. The effects of spray pulsations and atomization gas flowrate on liquid distribution were also studied. Effects of bed hydrodynamics on the initial liquid distribution and on the subsequent drying were studied separately. The results indicate that jet pulsations or increasing the atomization gas flowrate improve the liquid distribution. Large improvements in liquid distribution were achieved by increasing the superficial gas velocity and also increasing the gas velocity at the end of the spray jet cavity, for all types of spray jets, pulsating or non-pulsating.

Certificate of Examination.pdf (200 kB)
Certificate of Examination