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Proceedings of the

International Conference on Chemical Engineering 2014

ICChE2014, 29-30 December, Dhaka, Bangladesh


Mohammad Hasibul Hasan, Tania Hossain, Quazi Azizul Hassan, Sabrina Khan and
M. T. Sowgath*
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh

Eastern Refinery Limited played an important role in producing petroleum products in Bangladesh and
produces almost 16 different petroleum products. Crude Distillation Unit is the energy intensive unit.
Simulation of Crude Distillation Unit of Eastern Refinery Limited Company was carried out using Aspen
Plus Process Simulator. Various design data have been taken from Eastern Refinery Limited. Aspen Plus
model is developed and simulation data is validated. Different distillation curv es obtained from the simulator
are similar to the expected.

Keywords: Eastern Refinery, Aspen Plus, Simulation

1. INTRODUCTION quality for ALC and MC blend. Aspen Plus model

is developed and simulation data is validated.
Petroleum played an important role to meet energy Different distillation curve obtained from the
demand in different sectors in Bangladesh such as simulator are similar to the expected. Preliminary
power generation sector, industrial sector, result shows that the model prediction of the
commercial sector (Haq et al., 2003). Eastern columns in the Crude Distillation is close to that of
Refinery Limited, a subsidiary of Bangladesh plant operation.
Petroleum Corporation (BPC) went into operation
in 1968. Arabian Light Crude (ALC) oil and 2. PROCESS DESCRIPTION
Murban Crude (MC) oil are the main raw materials
which are imported from KSA and Abu Dhabi. 2.1 Process Description
ERL produces 16 products from these crude oils.
ERL produces mainly fuel products (ERL, 2014). The ERL refinery unit includes the major process
units: Crude distillation unit, Catalytic reforming
Modeling and Simulation of Atmospheric unit, Asphaltic bitumen plant, Long Residue Vis-
distillation unit (ADU) play an important role in breaking unit and Mild hydrocracking unit.
facing the challenges in plant operation and ADU is equipped with 33 trays and feed is enters at
business challenge. Operability point of view such 4th equivalent tray. Crude oil is preheated in a
as higher feed rate, increased yield of high value series of 9 heat exchanger passing through desalter
product, return product quality giveaway and unit and fed into furnace where it is heated to 366o C
increased energy efficiencies subject to constant vaporize the feed partially. The partially vaporized
fluctuations in the raw material quality and other feed is sent to the distillation column. From the top
disturbances of the process units are studied by column TG is withdrawn and condensed and sent to
optimization. Imported raw crude properties are reflux drum and from where off gas is flared. In
continually changing and the complexities of reflux drum gasoline is refluxed to top column and
petroleum mixture process model needs to work for part of it sent to stabilization column. Kerosene-I
wide variety of mixture in a Crude Distillation Unit. and Kerosene II are withdrawn from the 26th and
Besides, Crude Distillation Unit is the energy 20th tray respectively and flows to the stripper
intensive unit. Eastern Refinery faces challenges for column. LGO and HGO is withdrawn from tray no.
the decade due to changes in market demand and 12 and 9 respectively and sent to the storage tank
supply of raw crude. Simulation of ERL model can after treating. The atmospheric residue is stripped
play an role to face those challenges. in the bottom of the distillation column.
In this work, study of ERL is carried out using
Aspen Plus simulator to maintain the product

*Corresponding Author: M . Tanvir Sowgath,

Fig. 1: Eastern Refiner PFD in Aspen Plus

0.86, whereas Murban has the specific gravity

2.1 Aspen Plus Model ranged 0.82 to 0.83. 80% ALC and 20% MC blend
All simulation are conducted using steady-state is used.
model developed under Aspen plus environment.
BK-10 property package is selected as the
Table 1. Crude Feed Input Parameters
thermodynamic fluid package. The simulation ERL
model (Fig. 1) consists of pre-fractionation train Temperature (o F) 460
used to heat the crude liquids, and an ADU to Pressure (psia) 45
fractionate the crude into its straight run products. Flowrate (bbl/day) 100,000
The liquids are heated to 350o F in the crude
furnace. ADU is the separation of hydrocarbons in
crude oil into fractions based on their boiling points Table 2. Different Products
which lie within a specified range. The simulations Gas Kerosene-II
have been performed using specifications such as Total Gasoline(TG) Light gas Oil (LGO)
product flow rate constraints and duties of Light gasoline (LG) Heavy gas oil (HGO)
condensers, pump-arounds and reboilers. True Heavy gasoline (HG) Reduced crude oil
boiling point (TBP) curve used for determine the Kerosene-I
behavior of the crude distilled product. Small
variations in the true boiling point curve may have
a significant impact on process control and overall From Fig. 2 to Fig. 6, the TBP curves were shown
profitability. The temperature at any point on the for crude feed, light product, naptha, kerosene,
temperature-volumetric yield curve represents the diesel, AGO respectively where experimental
true boiling point of the hydrocarbon material means prediction by simulator and standard means
present at the given volume percent point distilled. standard value of the feed and product in literature.
In each case distilled volumetric rates with respect
to temperature are increasing. These phenomena are
consistent with standard phenomena. From these
graphs, it can be seen that true boiling point of
In this work, the Atmospheric distillation unit experimental value is slightly different from
(ADU) process ALC and MC (Table 1) and standard value. That’s why the remaining curves
produces different products (Table 1).ALC were slightly different from the standard one. Curve
possesses the specific gravity ranged from 0.84 to of kerosene and diesel could be the example of this
phenomenon. But main objective was fulfilled and
experimental value were quite similar to theoretical.
The TBP of different products of our simulation
was similar to the original higher grade products,
whereas our simulated unit was simpler than the
original ERL plant. The model do not contain the
intermediate unit operation of ERL so our results
for Kerosene and naphtha are not similar to

Fig. 5: True boiling point curve of Kerosene.

Fig. 2: True boiling point curve of crude feed

Fig. 6: true boiling point curve of Diesel.


Aspen Plus model is developed and simulation data

is validated. Different distillation curves (TBP)
obtained from the simulator is similar to the
expected. Preliminary result shows that prediction
by Aspen plus of the product quality close to
literature value. However, Kerosene and naphtha
Fig. 3: True boiling point curve of light product. related unit operation needs to be added to get the
similar trends.


1. Haq M.B., Gomes E. and Tamim M., 26- 28

December 2003, Proceedings of the
International Conference on Mechanical
Engineering,(ICME2003), Dhaka, Bangladesh
2. ERL (2014),Eastern Refinery Limited, viewed
30 November, 2014,

Fig. 4: True boiling point curve of Naptha.