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Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU)

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Also known as a Cat Cracker, the Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU) is a piece of refining equipment used to convert the heavy portion of crude oil feedstock into lighter petroleum products, including liquified petroleum gas and gasoline.

FCCUs use a chemical process known as cracking to break down large hydrocarbon molecules into smaller molecules by exposing them to a catalyst and extreme heat. Common catalysts include zeolite, bauxite, silica-alumina, and aluminum hydrosilicate. Once the FCCU process is complete, product is then sent to a hydrocracker for further processing.

Since they were introduced in the 1940s, FCCUs have improved the efficiency and output of countless refineries and have become essential to the industry.

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Articles about Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU)
March/April 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

Hot spots – localized areas of overheating in pressure equipment – can lead to deformation or even loss of process containment. It is important to understand the effects of elevated temperature caused by hot spots on the mechanical integrity of...

Online Article

Summertime requires refiners to push even harder on certain equipment, such as the Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU), alkylation unit, and reformers to be able to meet increased demand. Warmer ambient temperatures can negatively affect process...

Authors: Jason Mallett
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