Mathematical Modelling and Simulation of a Trickle-Bed Reactor for Hydrotreating of Petroleum Feedstock

Carlos Eduardo Ramirez-Castelan, Angelica Hidalgo-Vivas, Jacob Brix, Anker Degn Jensen, Jakob Kjøbsted Huusom*

*Corresponding author for this work

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In this work, a model for a trickle-bed reactor for catalytic hydrotreating (HDT) of oil fractions is developed and simulations are performed to investigate its behavior. The model considers dynamic, one-dimensional plug-flow to describe a heterogeneous, adiabatic trickle-bed reactor. It takes into consideration the main reactions present in the HDT process: hydrodesulfurization (HDS), hydrodenitrogenation (HDN), and hydrodearomatization (HDA) with a reconstructed petroleum feedstock using a practical approach of generation of pseudo-components by dividing the boiling point curves of the feedstock. The model is solved using the method of lines with a finite difference scheme for discretization in the axial direction andAnker Degn Jensen1 simulations are performed for an industrial hydrotreating unit to evaluate the behavior of the system under different conditions and assumptions e. g. related to the linear gas velocity. A study of the dynamics is carried out to investigate the behavior of the system with a change in the sulfur compound concentration of the feed. In addition, a sensitivity analysis of the most relevant model parameters is performed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering
Issue number7
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Modelling
  • Hydrotreating process
  • Trickle-bed reactor


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