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New pilot plant offers better simulation

A new advanced pilot plant at Nynas’ oil refinery in Nynäshamn will help boost the company’s product development, offering customers products that are better adapted to their applications. "Now, we have increased capacity for optimising our products and processes, and we can develop new solutions. This will benefit our customers in the end," comments Tova Schmidt, Manager of the Process Technology Group in Nynäshamn.

In operation since September 2014, the new pilot facility is used to simulate the company's hydrotreating processes, adding capacity to two existing pilot plants at the refinery. "This is a valuable addition to our simulation facilities, not only because it increases our capacity, but also because it is more advanced than the other two pilot plants," says Schmidt.

The newcomer has a two-reactor system. This offers the advantage of two separate reactors in which process conditions can be individually adjusted. Combined in one system, the individually set reactors enable operators to perform better and more accurate simulations of the hydrotreating processes and to carry out more in-depth studies to evaluate these.

"We’ve invested in this new pilot plant in order to increase our capacity and to refine the way in which we simulate the process conditions in our full-scale units, not just the ones here in Nynäshamn, but at all sites," Schmidt points out. The decision to invest in additional pilot plant capacity was made following Nynas’ acquisition of the Harburg refinery in Hamburg, Germany, which resulted in increased demand on the existing pilot plants.

The new pilot plant is housed in the same building as the existing pilot facilities, where space had already been earmarked for the expansion. "When our new premises were built in 2009, we made sure there was room for more than the two original pilot plants," Schmidt explains. The process technology group and the pilot facilities in Nynäshamn serve many different departments within Nynas, including the company’s technical support teams that offer support to clients and to Nynas’ own production.

"The pilot plants are always in demand and are used continuously for various studies of product properties and process parameters or conditions," says Schmidt.

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