Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Adam Smith

Relational Format



This thesis will first provide background information on fluid catalytic cracking (FCC), a highly important unit operation to the process of petroleum refining, and a description of Thermal DeNOx, an environmental treatment system common to FCC units and other process units where high temperature furnaces are used. Next, this thesis will detail a project which I had the chance to lead as a process engineering intern at ExxonMobil's Baton Rouge Refinery in the fall of 2016. The objective of the project was to optimize Thermal DeNOx systems installed on two FCC units at the refinery. Experiments were conducted on these units at different chemical injection rates and temperatures, in order to determine the operating parameters at which the Thermal DeNOx systems were as efficient and economical as possible. A control scheme was implemented on the unit to maintain operation at these experimentally determined parameters, with a projected economic benefit of $250,000 per year for the refinery. This thesis also includes a discussion of my personal learnings and takeaways from this experience, including the challenges one can face when leading an engineering project in an industrial manufacturing setting.

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