May 23–24 | Houston, Texas | Greenspoint Place Conference Center

A series of reactor performance courses
for refinery professionals
with renowned refinery consultant, Stephen J. McGovern, Ph.D.

Join your colleagues from across the industry in a series of in-depth hydrocarbon processing courses, with guest lecturer Stephen J. McGovern, Ph.D.

In a collaborative setting hosted by Crystaphase, refinery employees of all levels will benefit from a deeper understanding of a complete range of factors that impact reactor performance and refinery operations.


Amplify your aptitude

Crystaphase offers a program to share tools and concepts to help refiners deal with factors outside the catalyst and chemistry of fixed-bed operations.

There are particles, poisons, and rivulets which negatively impact refinery operations. This collection of courses is meant to deepen understanding of the phenomena which govern these impediments and explore techniques and tactics to prepare feedstocks for improved operating performance.

The program will focus on properties and behaviors of feedstock that determine reactor performance, independent of conversion. Attendees who complete this course will be better able to evaluate loading recommendations and to approach design from a perspective of space efficiency and feedstock conditioning.

Elevate your output

Each of three sections examines an aspect of reactor performance and equips the attendee with specific concepts to apply in the analysis and design of fixed-bed fluid processes. Understanding the variables under an engineer’s control and knowing how to use that understanding to overcome real-world optimization challenges are the parallel objectives of the course.

Practical. Hands-on.

The success of the course will depend on class participation. Instructors will use visual materials and in-class demonstrations in conjunction with a workbook provided to each attendee. Using computers and software also provided, teams will collaborate on practical applications of the concepts covered in the course. Each section will end with a capstone project that incorporates the material covered in the preceding sections together with the industry knowledge and experience contributed by the attendees themselves.

Calling all innovators

The course is appropriate for refinery employees at all levels of experience. Those who excel will enjoy using empirical methods and state-of-the-art technologies to solve problems in the domain of particle control, poison control, and fluid dynamics. Because Crystaphase believes there is always something to learn from one another, the organizers encourage experienced company mentors to attend alongside their apprentices to help augment and encourage engaged learning.

Course schedule

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Course Introduction
8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

Hydroprocessing Physics: Essentials
A review of the basic rules governing catalyst kinetics and mass transfer in fixed bed reactors. Intended to be catalyst agnostic, this course will outline important concepts and define some operating problems as they apply to vapor-liquid-solid interaction in hydroprocessing.

9:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.


9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Hydroprocessing Physics: Discovery
This course will build on the preceding concepts to examine the differences between trickle and rivulet flow schemes. Pilot plant performance will be compared with commercial plant performance, to better understand the effects of fluid dynamics on catalyst reactivity. This segment concludes with tools and techniques to abate rivulet flow phenomena and increase catalyst reactivity.

10:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.


10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Hydroprocessing Physics: Reading Your Reactor
Students will apply their newly learned tools and tactics in loading designs that will then be compared and discussed among the group.

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Break: Lunch Provided

12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Poison Control: Essentials
This segment will define the basics and common mechanics of catalyst poisoning. We will review adsorbent kinetics, common sources of catalyst poisons, their effects on catalysts, and how to control them with adsorbents.

1:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.


1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Poison Control: Discovery
Applying the concepts learned in Essentials, we will consider how to recognize good poison control design and explore best practices in the purification stage of the reactor bed system. We’ll see how poison control mechanisms can be combined and how reactor volume can be balanced to better serve the intended catalytic function. Lastly, we will look at ways to improve purification effectiveness through the use of complementary materials that, together, can help control the balance of material volumes in the reactor.

2:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.


2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Poison Control: Reading Your Reactor
Engineers will use poisons modeling software to size and select materials for reactor beds. This information will then be combined with the above concepts so the student is able to practice good design technique and recognize it when evaluating reactor loadings in the field.

3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.


5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Breakfast and Recap
8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

Particle Control: Essentials
We will explore filtration fundamentals in hydroprocessing vessels and the value of accurately characterizing foulant particles. Students will review how these concepts apply to filtration dynamics and what that means for their reactor.

9:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.


9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Particle Control: Discovery
With Essentials covered, students will learn how to use void space to increase particle capacity and decrease dynamic pressure drop build. We will address finer points on particle efficiency and advanced tools and techniques to increase that efficiency.

10:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.


10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Capstone: Reading Your Reactor
This is an opportunity to apply all the concepts learned in this entire course into one reactor optimization scheme. Students will be presented with differing problems where an approach from each section of the course can be applied, demonstrated, and discussed.

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

After completing the course, students will receive a certificate indicating the topics covered and the number of hours spent in class, which may be used as supporting documentation for any applicable continuing professional education credits.


Parking and rooms are available at the Hilton Houston North hotel: 12400 Greenspoint Dr Houston, TX 77060

+1 281-875-2222

Crystaphase Events


For general inquiries or to get help with your registration, call
+1 832-742-6760 or email us at


The course will meet at the Greenspoint Place Conference Center:
12190 Greenspoint Dr. Houston, TX 77060. +1 281-875-7800