Refinery Simulation Modeling

Petro-SIM® Reactor Suite is a leading refinery simulation software encompassing all the process units across various refinery configurations. Data reconciliation, calibration, tuning and predictions are all intrinsic elements proficiently packaged to build a high-fidelity model that depicts an actual unit operation precisely. 

Request a quote

Gulf Energy Excellence Awards for Best Modeling Technology
Aerial view over biogas plant and farm in green fields

Evaluating Bio Feed Processing in Your Refinery 

As the world seeks to reduce carbon emissions, Government policies and financial incentives have led to a steady demand for renewable fuels in the last few years. Renewable diesel made from hydrotreating animal fats and vegetable oils has emerged as a very promising alternative to fossil diesel. 

Using Petro-SIM process simulation and the refinery Reactor Suite to configure your refinery and switching to our newly launched renewable diesel mode in DHTR-SIM, allows users to evaluate the impact of processing various bio feedstocks in the refinery, whether as a co-processing or dedicated option.

Watch the webinar

Why Choose Our Refinery Reactor SIM-Suite

The reactor models in our SIM Reactor Suite include detailed catalyst activity models to account for fresh catalyst properties, feed contaminants, catalyst deactivation and catalyst makeup. You can track mass balances, heat balance closures, and visualize unit KPIs and actual yields vs simulated on dashboards. The Reactor Suite diversifies from refinery to olefins and aromatics, allowing the creation of completely integrated site-wide models of unlimited complexity.

All reactor models are digitalization ready and we are currently in the process of hosting the reactor models in the Yokogawa Cloud, laying the foundation for managing the digital twins in an automated seamless workflow. The reactor models are available stand-alone or within Petro-SIM, allowing you to model the units either within the Petro-SIM flowsheet environment, upgrading them into digital twins or even something as basic as running with Microsoft Excel. Multiple sets of data or cases can be used to tune these models and can be easily compared in tables or auto-generated charts.


Enabling Digital Twins

Process digital twins have the capability of simplifying complex data, presenting deeper analytics, building databases, and automatically pushing in new data when deviations occur so that your models are up to date. All the rigorous refinery reactors models can be transformed into digital twins spitting out KPIs, simple or complex, and used to identify areas for improvement, hence facilitating an efficient and standardized methodology for ensuring that plant data, LP predications and nonlinear model performance are kept synchronized.

Read our article

Making the Complex Simple

Molecular management and carbon number level simulation, is the key to maximize octane barrels in any refinery Our reactor suite modules like REF-SIM®, ISOM-SIM®, AROM-SIM® have the capability of modeling all the process units as they generate detailed carbon number breakdown from crude assays through to blending and petrochemical units, for the whole integrated complex.

Read the whitepaper

Automation in Action

Petro-SIM’s Automated Model Maintenance cloud-based solution takes reactor simulation modeling to a whole-new level by automating the model calibration and tuning work routine and simplifies the time spent in model maintenance. This solution links to the Petro-SIM digital twin at the client's premises and automatically pushes the cases data to the cloud. The web-based solution then uses high performance data analytics to provide health indicators and supporting evidence for clients to keep track of the health of models to minimize lost profit opportunities.

Read the blog

Refinery-wide Flowsheeting

Petro-SIM along with Refinery Reactor suite has the ability to rigorously mimic an entire refinery configuration and operation, from crude input to finished product blending. Since each unit, including conversion units, is modelled rigorously, the overall simulation properly reflects the non-linearities of petroleum refining which provides analysis of the various yield opportunities to a deeper level than other methods. KBC has built refinery wide flowsheets as a part of PIP studies for over 130 refineries around the world.

Read the article

Reactor SIM Suite Portfolio

Petro-SIM refinery simulation software combined with the Reactor Suite allows you to evaluate feed alternatives, determine the equipment constraints, and optimize the operating conditions.

Delayed Coker Unit
Hydrocracking Unit
Diesel Hydrotreating Unit
Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit
Naphtha Hydrotreaters
Cracked Naphtha Hydrotreater
Ebullating Bed Resid Hydrocracking Units
Catalyst Reforming Unit
Aromatics Unit
Isomerization Unit
Vacuum Gas Oil Hydrotreating
Residue Hydrotreating Unit
Alkylation Unit
Visbreaker Units


Delayed coking is a key process used in many refineries to convert residual streams to more commercially viable products.

DC-SIM, KBC's kinetic model simulator for delayed coking, allows users to perform mass and energy balances around the unit and optimize unit performance  

DC-SIM is a detailed kinetic model for simulating delayed coking units. It has detailed models for the coker furnace, drums, ad fractionation tower. DC-SIM predicts coker yields and product qualities for different feedstocks, coke drum temperatures, and recycle rate options. It is also used to identify improvements in coker operations by monitoring daily operations and evaluating alternative operating strategies.

Watch the webinar

Download the data sheet



HCR-SIM is a first-principle, kinetic reactor model for hydrocrackers. It can model many different common configurations including single, multi, and separate stage hydrocrackers with single or multiple high-pressure separators and intermediate strippers. It can simulate most commercial hydrocracking unit configurations and is independent of catalyst type. HCR-SIM supports different configurations, number of catalyst beds, catalyst types, hydrogen makeup locations, and number of liquid products.

Watch the webinar

Download the data sheet

DHTR renewable diesel mode


D HTR-SIM uses established first-principle kinetic expressions to model the key hydrotreating reactions including desulfurization, denitrogenation, olefin and aromatic saturation, naphthene ring opening and cracking. It also tracks and models the deactivation effects on the catalyst due to feed metals poisoning. The model supports methodology and internal kinetics to support modeling ULSD operations, supports pressure drop calculations across the reactor catalyst beds as well as poly-aromatic profile predictions. 

In order to help our customers meet their decarbonization goals, KBC has also introduced a renewable mode in D HTR-SIM for hydrotreating fatty oils from plant and animal sources. Users can take advantage of the feed characterization to model TGLs and FAs into their hydrotreaters and simulate the heat effects, predict effects of oxygenates, balance hydrogen consumption and monitor diesel cold flow properties. The HDO reactor effluent can now be routed to an isomerization kinetic reactor within the same module to convert the n-paraffins to iso-paraffins and improve the cold flow property predictions. The model can handle co-processing and 100% bio-oil processing with flexibility of feeding bio-oils to multiple sections in the unit to stay on top of the industry updates to this technology. 

We are proud to have been named finalists for the DHTR-SIM (Renewable mode) in the Gulf Energy Excellence Awards 2023 for Best Modeling Technology. 

Download the data sheet



FCC-SIM is KBC’s flagship first principle, kinetic simulation model that is used to model fluid catalytic cracking units. It comprehensively models the reactor and regenerator system as well as a simplified representation of the main fractionator and gas concentration unit for a wide range of configurations and a variety of designs from various licensors.

Watch the webinar

Download the data sheet



N HTR-SIM combines a detailed, rigorous kinetic simulation of the hydrotreating reactor with accurate product separation to produce the industry's most trusted analytical tool for naphtha hydrotreating. N HTR-SIM uses established first-principle kinetic expressions to model the key hydrotreating reactions including desulfurization, denitrogenation, olefin saturation, naphthene ring opening, and cracking. It also tracks and models the deactivation effects on the catalyst due feed metals poisoning

Download the data sheet



The cracked naphtha hydrotreater specifically designed for processing cracked naphtha offers various schemes viz. sulfur shift, diolefin saturation, and selective hydrotreating within the same reactor module to handle the light and heavy naphtha cuts and being able to treat the sulfur in gasoline with minimum octane lost.  



The Ebullating Bed reactor model has been a new addition to the HXX-SIM family. The EBR-SIM model supports refineries in creating value from even the most challenging, high-sulfur residue feeds. This technology is the key for meeting lower sulfur regulations (IMO 2020) and for potential Crude Oil-to-Chemicals configurations. It helps the users to achieve difficult residue conversion, treat concarbon, metals and sulfur in the residue streams through the ebullated bed reactor system and at the same time monitor catalyst addition/withdrawal and minimize sedimentation. The user can model leading ebullating bed licensor technologies. 



Ref-SIM is a detailed, rigorous kinetic model of a catalytic reformer. It models the reaction section as well as the separation and fractionation section using a complex network of reaction equations based on the chemistry of reforming reactions according to detailed feed composition. Ref-SIM is capable of modeling several different configurations including semi-regeneration units, continuous catalyst regeneration units, magnaformers, and cyclic units. Ref-SIM supports multiple reactors, different recycle gas configurations, and different separation configurations based on the type of reformer. It is independent of catalyst type and can model most commercial units.

Download the data sheet



At the heart of aromatics plants are reactors that are governed by complex kinetics. Modeling these units requires sophisticated software, that is still easy to use. AROM-SIM combines the key aromatics reaction systems of xylene isomerization and transalkylation in a single software modeling application and is capable of emulating most of the commercial applications. AROM-SIM provides you with a comprehensive model of aromatics processing facilities for optimization, planning, monitoring, or design.

Download the data sheet



Are you trying to optimize the gasoline production facilities of your refinery? Are you trying to balance benzene and sulfur in final product blends while still meeting octane and vapor pressure specifications? Isomerization units can affect this key balance. ISOM-SIM models the key isomerization processes used today. Isomerization of nC4 to iC4 for alkylation feedstock and C5/C6 light naphtha for octane improvement are both simulated by this tool. Units with either highly active acidic catalysts or higher temperatures and less active catalysts can be modeled.

Download the data sheet



VGO HTR-SIM combines a detailed, rigorous kinetic simulation of the hydrotreating reactor with an accurate product separation system. It uses established first-principle kinetic expressions to model the key hydrotreating reactions including desulfurization, denitrogenation, olefin and aromatic saturation, naphthene ring opening, and cracking and can be used to evaluate run lengths for different feeds, monitor catalyst deactivation, develop a consistent set of LP vectors, and establish operations that are more profitable.

Download the data sheet



The RHDS-SIM model combines a detailed, rigorous kinetic simulation of the reactor and accurate product separation to produce the industry’s most trusted analytical tool for residual hydrotreating. RHDS-SIM features the capability to rigorously model the metal deposition on catalyst and the resulting impact of the metals deactivation on catalyst performance.

It is a valuable tool to determine run lengths with different feeds, monitor deactivation, develop a consistent set of LP yield vectors and establish more profitable operations.

Download the data sheet



ALK-SIM is a first principle kinetic simulation model used for modeling HF Alkylation and H2SO4 Alkylation processes. It can evaluate alkylation of various C4 and C5 olefin isomer feeds under different scenarios of iC4/olefin ratio, reactor temperature, and acid strength. ALK-SIM is a valuable tool that enables you to evaluate the impact that different feed compositions and operating conditions have on product yields & isomer breakdowns.

Download the data sheet



VIS-SIM is a simulation model that is used for modeling visbreaking units. It consists of a rigorous furnace model using the tube geometry and detailed fluid characterization. It models both coil and soaker drum type units. It can be used to predict the maximum conversion for the unit to produce stable fuel oil and for specified feeds, operating conditions, and constraints, it determines the resulting product yields and properties.

Download the data sheet

Refinery equipment coker furnace

Coker Furnace Monitoring to Avoid Sudden Unit Shutdown

The coker furnace is a key piece of delayed coker technology. Join our webinar to better understand the effect of the different operating conditions. We demonstrate how Petro-SIM prcoess simulation and its coker furnace technology can be used to accomplish the following studies:

  • Simulate the coker furnace feed based on plant data or crude assay data
  • Understand the effect of the operating conditions on the coke deposition
  • Understand the effect of feed properties on the coke deposition

By conducting these case studies, the operation time of the coker furnace can be extended and therefore, the operation time of the entire unit.

Watch the webinar

pipeline, storage tanks and buildings of a refinery

FCC Catalyst Selection and Optimization

FCC catalyst selection and evaluation is complicated; many catalysts are available and bottomline can be affected if the right catalyst is not selected at the right time. Pilot plant tests are not enough as they do not reflect actual plant operation considering the mechanical constraints in the unit. In addition, actual field tests take a long time. KBC utilizes proprietary FCC-SIM model catalyst databases (CDB) option to evaluate and select a new catalyst for the FCC unit by letting you create a database to contain catalyst factors that characterize each catalyst. FCC-SIM is calibrated to fit FCC operating and mechanical conditions for the current catalyst. In subsequent runs, the model predicts FCC performance based on the specified new catalyst properties, hence empowering the user to compare the different catalysts and making an informed selection.

KBC has acted as an advisor for many refiners at the stage of new catalyst selection and replacement. The combination of kinetic, heat balanced FCC model and CDB catalyst factors provide refiners with a powerful tool to evaluate the benefits of changing catalyst in the FCC.

Customer quote

“KBC’s DC-SIM Coker model is the most up to date technology for Coker process units.  It predicts actual Coker unit heater and drum behavior including heater skin point, cycle time profiles as well as temperature excursion and actual coke laydown predictions.  The model is able to match actual heater/drum profiles (temperatures and velocity profiles, coking and skin point profiles, yield etc..) with historical data and predict required cycle behaviors”.

A Major Canadian Refiner

Soni Malik - Profile Picture

Soni Malik

Product Management Senior Consultant

Meet our expert on the Petro-SIM Reactor Suite

"Bridging the knowledge gap between non-technical users and specialists is extremely important for collaborative projects. What everyone is looking for is a quick and trustworthy indication of model performance as that helps them take risks for quick gains. Thanks to the vast knowledge and years of experience our developers bring with their programming skills, they can break the complexity barrier and design a product that can seamlessly fit into an organization’s need and helps them to solve their problems effortlessly."

More on this expert