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Refining Process Services, Inc. provides technical training seminars in the field of petroleum refining, also called oil refining. The modern petroleum refinery has a series of core process units that create clean gasoline and low sulfur diesel fuel. The first oil refinery unit is crude oil desalting. The desalter removes salt, water and other contaminants from crude oil prior to distillation in an atmospheric tower. The fractions recovered from the atmospheric distillation tower include naphtha, kerosene, diesel and bottoms liquid called atmospheric resid. This material is fractionated via vacuum distillation into gas oil and vacuum resid.


Raw gasoline recovered from petroleum consists of light naphtha and heavy naphtha. Light naphtha is processed through an isomerization unit and heavy naphtha is processed in a catalytic reforming unit or reformer so that gasoline octane is improved. Kerosene is blended into jet fuel. Diesel fuel is treated in a hydrotreating unit or hydrotreater with catalyst and hydrogen to reduce sulfur level and improve quality. Gas oil is converted in fluid catalytic cracking and hydrocracking units or hydrocracker into gasoline and diesel. Light olefins from the fluid catalytic cracker are processed in either HF acid (hydrofluoric acid) or sulfuric acid alkylation units. Vacuum resid is processed in delayed coking units which convert heavy oil from crude into lighter products.


To learn more about this vital industry, Refining Process Services offers a series of technical training seminars. All programs are offered in the form of public seminars.   Most programs are also offered for in-house presentation at a client location.  Select theOn-Site Training tab for  more information.  A listing of core seminars is provided below. For further information click on the seminar title below:



Optimum FCCU performance requires understanding current unit operations and capabilities, setting clear goals and strategies and then implementing these strategies. In this course, you will:

Learn to use data more effectively. Refinery data acquisition systems can deliver an overwhelming amount of real-time data. The course introduces monitoring systems that distill data into manageable amounts of information and provide targeted reports for each stakeholder. It also covers how to use the data to identify current and future unit problems and potential opportunities for improvement.


Find out about refinery computer control systems—and how to make sure they help your refinery maximize profits. The modern refinery relies on complex computer programs to make many profit-critical decisions. Crude selection, production targets and key unit operating conditions usually determined by the refinery LP. Individual unit operations are often controlled by an Advanced Process Control System while other key questions are evaluated with a rigorous kinetic model. This program shows how to evaluate these systems’ performance, and if they are truly driving toward maximum profit and/or achieving other strategic goals. 

Learn a methodology for troubleshooting complex systems. Optimum economic performance cannot be achieved unless problem areas are quickly identified and corrected. This troubleshooting methodology is useful to the individual troubleshooter as well as multi-person teams. The program uses real-life examples to illustrate how to use this information to achieve continuous optimum performance in both the short and long term.

This course is ideal for anyone involved in refinery process engineering, refinery planning, unit operations, process modeling, catalyst sales andtechnical service. Supervisors of these functions will also find this program valuable.  Although the focus is on FCC unit monitoring and optimization, many of the principles discussed also apply to other refinery process areas

Program Outline 

  • Process Monitoring

    • Overview and Goals
      • Types of Monitoring
      • Monitoring Program Components
        • Feeds & Yields
        • Catalyst Performance
        • FCC Material Balance
        • Coke and Heat Balance Calculations
        • Constraint Giveaway
        • Catalyst Circulation
        • Pressure Balance
        • Reaction Mix Tests
        • Corrosion

    Building a Monitoring Program

    • Key Process Indicators
    • Daily / Weekly Trend Monitoring
    • Deviations from Expectation
    • Reporting

    FCC Troubleshooting

    • Identifying problems
    • Troubleshooting methodology
    • Causes and Effects
      • Reactor and Regenerator Hardware
      • Feed Issues
      • Catalyst Issues
      • Circulation Problems
      • Environmental Issues
      • Rotating Equipment Issues
      • Columns and Fractionator Issues

    Optimization Strategies

    • Strategic Goals
    • Minimizing Cost vs Maximizing Profits
    • Battery Limit Economics
    • Refinery Gate Economics

    Daily Optimization

    • Goals / Operating Targets
    • Maximizing Utilization
    • Advanced Process Control
    • Monitoring the APC

    Longer-Term Optimization 

    • Predicting / Accounting for Unit Degradation
    • Catalyst Deactivation/Make-up
    • Fouling and Corrosion
    • Testing / Maintaining LP FCC Sub-Model
    • Feed & Catalyst Selection
    • Optimization Meetings
    • Evaluating Alternative Strategies
    • Evaluating Capital Changes


     Using and Maintaining Process Models 

    • Reactor / Regenerator Yield Models
    • Distillation Heat / Material Balance Models
    • Heat Exchanger Train Models
    • Evaluating Vendor Proposals


    Troubleshooting Exercises

  • Optimization Case Studies 



 Alan R. English, an independent consultant, has extensive experience in the petroleum refining industry. During his 40 plus year career, he helped dozens of refineries in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East optimize their performance. He was employed at KBC Advanced Technologies, Sunoco, Chevron and Gulf Oil. Al led the development and commercialization of the use of tin for vanadium passivation and bismuth for nickel passivation. He has authored or co-authored 13 publications and twice served on the NPRA (now AFPM) Q & A Panel. He holds three US patents. Al has a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University and an Executive Masters degree in Technology Management from Stevens Institute of Technology. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania.









Calendar of Seminars

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10/21/2019 - 10/22/2019
Crude Oil Desalting
10/21/2019 - 10/22/2019
Refinery Troubleshooting
10/22/2019 - 10/24/2019
Catalytic Reforming Process Technology
10/23/2019 - 10/24/2019
How to Blend Gasoline and Diesel in Refineries
10/23/2019 - 10/25/2019
Water Treatment for Refineries and Chemical Plants
10/23/2019 - 10/25/2019
Refinery Economics and Margin Improvement
10/23/2019 - 10/25/2019
Crude Oil Distillation
10/25/2019 - 10/25/2019
How to Blend Gasoline and Diesel for Traders
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