We are producing bitumen from atmospheric distillation column thanks to low API crude. In crude distillation unit, all atmospheric residue is directly sent to the bitumen tankage. We can produce the 50/70, 70/100 and 160/220 bitumen spec. easily from atmospheric distillation columns.
However, we have some obstacles to get on spec about increase in softening point in bitumen. We have maximized the furnace outlet temp., stripping steam rate and also diesel draw amount but still softening point value is not in limit value.
When we maximize the all operation parameters, increase in softening point is still above the spec values. (Limit value is 9 C for 50/70 bitumen, we could get 11 C which is the best value that we have got.)
At this point, we want to ask a question that do you have any practice about increase in softening point in bitumen? Do you have any advice to get better increase in softening point in bitumen?