CECO Environmental

- Fluid Catalytic Cracking Units (FCC Cyclones)



Fluid Catalytic Cracking Units (FCC Cyclones) are the principal technologies that enable the critical process within heavy oil refining of converting the heavy oils into more valuable gasoline and lighter products. More than half of the refinery's heavy petroleum is processed through the FCC Cyclones, and the FCC Cyclones are also an important source of butene and pentene olefins used in refinery processes.

Our Emtrol-Buell brand has supplied more FCC Cyclones to refineries and petrochemical plants worldwide than any other supplier, so our experience in this area is unequaled. Our FCC Cyclones are designed to enhance separation efficiency, accommodate increased catalyst loading, and are tailored to meet the application needs of refineries and petrochemical plants.

We custom-engineer the following products at the highest quality:

  • FCC Cyclones - Patented Beam Hanger Support System
  • FCC Cyclones - Reactor
  • FCC Cyclones - Regenerator
  • FCC Cyclones - Third Stage Separator Systems
  • FCC Cyclones - Fourth Stage & Catalyst Hopper Cyclones

Heavy gas oils and vacuum gas oils are heated to more than 600 °F and then mixed with a catalyst before they enter the main FCC reactor. Chemical reactions “crack” the large molecules in the oil into smaller molecules, and carbon forms on the surface of the catalyst.

Inside the reactor, steam is injected to separate the oil from the catalyst, forcing the catalyst to move like a fluid. The “cracked” oil vapors flow out the top of the reactor. The used catalyst flows out the bottom of the reactor mixed with air and enters the regenerator vessel where surface carbon on the catalyst is burned off. The regenerated catalyst leaves the bottom of the regenerator to be mixed with the heavy oil feed.

Exiting the top of the regenerator is a hot flue gas stream that heats other boilers in the plant. While the catalyst is being regenerated, the hot oil vapors exit the top of the reactor and enter the main fractionator. This fractionator separates the 'cracked' petroleum stream into lighter products such as gasoline.

Our FCC Cyclones are designed with innovative enhancements to ensure optimal performance, efficiency and reliability. We are also expert at the evaluation of existing cyclone systems in order to recommend modifications to maximize performance and minimize erosion problems.

We are approved by all the FCC process licensing companies as a qualified supplier of cyclone equipment, namely

  • ABB Lummus
  • ExxonMobil
  • IFP
  • Kellogg Brown & Root (formerly M.W. Kellogg)
  • Stone and Webster (Shaw Groups)
  • UOP
  • Low Total Cost of Ownership
  • Maximum performance and efficiency
  • High reliability
  • Enhanced to increase separation efficiency
  • Premium quality material construction to withstand severe operating condition


  • Enhanced aspect ratio of the cyclone inlet
  • New crossover duct design
  • Minimized use of edge bars in the refractory linings
  • Standard or complex designs
  • Dust hopper and lined dipleg stub designs that enhance catalyst discharge while decreasing erosion effects

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