The Tulsa University Delayed Coking Project (TUDCP) is located on the research campus of the University of Tulsa. Since the start of the project in 1999, TUDCP has developed much of the technology currently used in the study of delayed coking. TUDCP currently operates three state-of-the-art experimental test facilities.

The following TUDCP test facilities are available:
Kinetic Unit
Batch Reactor
Pilot Unit
Micro Coker

Batch Reactor

The batch reactor consists of a stainless steel cylinder,13 inches tall and 11 inches outside diameter, with a flanged lid. A stainless steel liner, 8 inches inside diameter and 9.5 inches tall, ~ 2 gallons, is placed inside the reactor. An impeller is mounted on an overhung shaft and is situated two inches from the bottom. The shaft is driven by a 3-phase motor with an AC inverter for variable speed. The reactor is heated by three ceramic band heaters from the outside and three cartridge heaters from the inside, close to the center of the reactor. the reactor lid contains, beside the magnetic stirrer and the three cartridge heater wells, a thermowell, a relief valve, a nitrogen inlet, a gas outlet, and a sample port.


The main objectives for utilizing this reactor are to:

1. Reproducibly mimic commercial operation for a very short time, producing small quantities of coke, liquids and gases for testing,

2. Investigate and correlate the effect of feedstock composition and to a lesser extent pressure, temperature and residence time on product rates and compositions and on coke morphology,

3. Develop and validate a model(s), and

4. Investigate scale-up issues.

Operating Conditions
Temperature 700 to 950 °F
Pressure 60 to 80 PSIG
Sample Volume 2 Gallons


Pilot Unit / Foaming Facility

The pilot-coker consists of a feed tank and circulation system, and a furnace containing both the preheater and the coke drum. The feed drum holds at least 5 gallons and is mounted on a scale. The outlet of the drum goes to a pump and then a booster pump with the lines being steam traced. From the booster pump, the resid can flow back to the feed tank, to a slop tank or to the furnace. Initially the flow is back to the feed tank to circulate feed and stabilize the temperature. Once the unit is lined out the feed can be switched to a slop tank to check the flow rate (based upon the loss of weight measured by the scale). If the rate is correct, flow is sent to the furnace. In the furnace are first a preheater coil (mimicking the commercial furnace) followed by a coke drum. The coke drum, with dimensions of 3" x 40" and a volume of ~4,750 cc, is located in the furnace to prevent heat loss. Commercial coke drums are well insulated and have a high volume-to-surface area ratio, making them adiabatic. To simulate commercial steam injection water can be injected upstream of the preheater coil.

The main objectives for utilizing this reactor are to:

  • reproducibly mimic commercial operation producing sufficient quantities of coke, liquids and gases for testing,
  • investigate and correlate the effect of feedstock composition and reactor conditions on product rates and compositions and on coke morphology,
  • maximize distillate product production and minimize coke and gas production,
    find ways to reduce tube fouling,
  • develop and validate a model(s), and
  • investigate scale-up issues.

This reactor is the workhorse in this Joint Industry Project (JIP) experimental investigation.

The pilot unit was modified to study foaming by adding a larger furnace, a gamma densitometer and a lift. The gamma densitometer is used to measure the density of the gas, foam, liquid layer, and coke columns in the drum. The data, as a function of height is displayed on the control monitor for each scan. Time, drum location and the corresponding density are recorded in an Excel spreadsheet. A Macro was built that plots the data as height vs. density as a function of time and density as a function of time vs. height in the drum. This set up allows the researchers to establish and track, via the forklift, the interfaces and densities as a function of time. The system is automated with a Labview control system.
To obtain a continuous flow of steam, the pulsating pump used in the parametric study was replaced with the HPLC pump that injects continuously. The antifoam is injected using an Eldex Metering Piston pump.

Operating Conditions
Temperature 850 to 950 °F
Pressure 6 to 70 PSIG
Sample Volume 10 Gallons


Micro Coker

The micro-coker consists of a syringe pump with stirrer, preheater (corresponding to the commercial furnace), a coke drum with liner, three cooled liquid traps, a wet-gas meter, and an on-line GC.

Operating Conditions
Temperature 900 to 950 °F
Pressure 6 to 40 PSIG
Sample Volume 1/8 Gallon