Catalyst regeneration made faster with high-pressure oil free air

The BP refinery in Castellon (Spain) has two units that require regeneration on a yearly basis. And so each year BP rents from Atlas Copco Rental two PNS1250 oil-free compressors together with fuel tanks and a technician stays on site in case of emergencies.

August 25, 2014

pns 1250

Operating time reduced with 50 percent:
Before turning to Atlas Copco Rental, BP Castellon used compressed air at 7 bar.With the PNS1250, they now use 100% oil free high pressure air at 14-16 bar. Thanks to this switch it has been possible to drastically reduce the regeneration time from three to four weeks to just 12 to 15 days.

Booster units:
At Castellon, the catalytic reforming units are typical octane booster units, producing hydrogen in the process of increasing octane in naphtha already distilled from crude oil. The catalyst is made of platinum and rhenium active centers over an aluminum chloride base. Regeneration of the catalyst includes coke burn, oxychlorination, rejuvenation and sulphiding steps to get the catalyst activity almost fully recovered.

“It is extremely important to minimize the number of days the regeneration operation takes to let the refinery capture the maximum margin of every crude oil barrel. By using high pressure air compressors, we can increase operating pressure and the quantity of air, making the coke burn faster ... For every regeneration we prefer Atlas Copco compressors because of their competitive price and very reliable equipment. This allows a faster operation in safe conditions.”

Mikel Ansareo, BP Castellon Performance Analyst

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Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers with innovative compressors, vacuum solutions and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco develops products and service focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. In 2015, Atlas Copco had revenues of BSEK 102 (BEUR 11) and more than 43 000 employees.


Specialty Rental is a division within Atlas Copco’s Construction Technique business area. It serves customers in the industry segments around the world with temporary air, nitrogen, steam and power rental solutions. The specialty rental services are offered under several brands. The divisional headquarters is located in Houston, USA.