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Petro Refinery Basics

Petro Refinery Basics

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Published by H.J.Prabhu
Crude oil is released from oil wells and is a natural gift useful for manufactured transport fuels. An understanding of its science and technology has made available the products essential for surface, sea and air transport vehicles and it is also useful for synthesis of hydrocarbon based organic chemical polymer products.
Crude oil is released from oil wells and is a natural gift useful for manufactured transport fuels. An understanding of its science and technology has made available the products essential for surface, sea and air transport vehicles and it is also useful for synthesis of hydrocarbon based organic chemical polymer products.

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Published by: H.J.Prabhu on Feb 05, 2013
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Petroleum Refinery Basics

• Crude Oil components • Refinery Flowchart • Other refinery units • Unit Opns & Unit Proces in refining

• Physical and process Hazards

Thanks to
• John Kulluk Ph.D.
• Torrance Fire Department • & • Robert Distaso PE – 714/573-6253 • Orange County Fire Authority

Petroleum is extracted from underground reserves;
then it is cracked or “refined” into end products for various uses. The petroleum industry thus has two parts: an oil exploration and production industry upstream and a refinery industry downstream. Most oil producers also own refineries. But the reverse is not true; a high proportion of oil is sold

to refinery companies that do not produce crude

Refining Means. . .
1. To reduce to a pure state, to remove impurities
2. To improve or perfect

Salable products are made from crude.

What is Crude Oil?
• Mixture of organic
• •
carbon chain molecules Impurities include sulfur and nitrogen compounds Some metals and salts too

Components such as . . .
• Straight-Chain
• • •
Hydrocarbons Olefins Cyclic H/C Aromatics (Benzene, toluene, xylenes)

• Mercaptans • Hydrogen Sulfide • • •
(H2S) Greases Propane LPG

Other Hazardous Materials
• • • • • • • •
Sulfur Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) Sulfuric Acid (H2SO4) Ammonia (NH3) Sodium Hypochlorite Radioactive Materials Chlorine Amines

• • • • • • •

MEK Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Heavy Metal Catalysts Sour Water Caustic (fresh/spent) Alcohol Asbestos

Heat & Mass Transfer Opns

Heat & Mass Transfer Opns
The reactor effluent is then cooled via heat exchange with unit feedstocks, fractionated into the desired product streams via distillation, which are then further cooled via heat exchange with unit feedstocks. Individual refinery processes are described subsequently, simplified process flow diagrams will be provided to illustrate the specific process flow sequence for the applicable process.

In fractionation or distillation the feedstock is distilled into various cuts of target boiling ranges or even separated into individual hydrocarbon compounds. Distillation is accomplished by

imposing a temperature profile across the tower
enabling differences in the equilibrium compositions of the vapor and liquid phases to change the compositions throughout the distillation tower.

Heat is added to the hydrocarbons at the bottom of the tower through heat exchange in a reboiler

which vaporizes a portion of the tower bottoms
liquid for recirculation to the bottom of the tower. Heat is removed from the top of the tower through heat exchange in an overhead condenser and then returning a portion of the condensed hydrocarbons back to the tower as .reflux..

This heat addition at the bottom and heat removal from the top of the tower establishes the temperature profile across the tower. In some applications, additional heat is removed by heat exchange with circulating liquid „pump-around‟ streams which are withdrawn and returned at intermediate levels of the tower. Perforated tray decks or packed bed sections allow intimate contacting of the liquid and vapor phases followed by separation.

Composition of crude oil
• Petroleum crude oils are : numerous hydrocarbons.

• Hydrocarbons are chemical compounds made up of
predominantly carbon and hydrogen. • Hydrocarbons found in crude oils generally also

contain the elements sulfur and nitrogen. Many crude
oils also contain absorbed levels of the toxic gas hydrogen sulfide (H2S).

Components_ To be removed
• Crude oils may contain trace amounts of metals

such as nickel and vanadium, as well as salts.
• Most of the nonhydrogen, non-carbon elements found in crude oils are undesirable and are removed from the hydrocarbons in total or in part during refinery processing.

Refinery Process Flow Chart
Sulfur Gas Plant Isom Splitter Reformer Hydrotreating Jet Fuel Distillate Fuel Alky Gasoline Fuel Gas

Leffler, 1985



Flasher Visbreaker

Residual Fuel

The principal products, with their
approximate boiling points, are petroleum

gas (20ºC), naphtha (40ºC), petrol (70ºC),
kerosene and jet fuel (120ºC), diesel (200ºC),

lubricant (300ºC), and furnace oil (370ºC);
solid petroleum coke collects at the bottom

after the liquid fractions are removed.



Many fuels products are treated as a finishing step prior to being shipped as .finished. products. Treating removes impurities which cause objectionable odors, unwanted colors or corrosion of the product. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and other sulfur compounds such as mercaptans

are examples of such impurities.

Amine contacting using aqueous amine solutions such as
monoethanolamine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA), or methyldiethanol amine (MDEA) are commonly used to remove H2S from light ends streams prior to disposition as fuel gas or propane (i.e., Liquefied Petroleum Gas or .LPG.) product. The amine solution is then regenerated in a still in which the application of heat drives off the H2S. The H2S-rich stream produced

from the still (called acid gas.) is then routed to the Sulfur
Conversion process.

Other Refinery Units
• • • • • • •
Steam Generation Wastewater Treatment Hydrogen Generation Power Generation (e.g., cogen) Air Separation Plant Loading/Unloading - Railcar, Trucks, etc. Storage (high pressure hydrocarbon, crude oil, intermediates) Floating-Roof Tanks - 150„ diameter is common Spherical Tanks - 50„ are common Horton Spheroid (refrigerated)  Steam-Heated Tanks for “Heavier” Products Self-Contained Firewater Supply Firewater Pumps
  

• •

What’s All this Stuff?

What Goes on at a Refinery. . .?
• Separation of components by distillation, e.g.:
  

Atmospheric Vacuum Hydrotreating (uses excess hydrogen)

• Breaking apart molecules to make smaller ones, e.g.:

catalytic cracking hydrocracking
Reforming - alkylation that lengthens the hydrocarbon chain Reforming - cyclic that generates hydrogen

• Joining molecules to make bigger ones, e.g.:
 

Physical Hazards
• • • • • • • • • • • •
High Pressure/Temperature Steam Oil/Gas-Fired Furnaces Acoustic High Voltage (4160V, 480V, 13.2 kV) Falling Hazards Confined Space Hazards Cranes/Lifting Hazards Hot Work Hazards Acid Exposure Toxic Vapors Radiation Flammability Hazards

Common PPE Requirements
• Hardhat • Hardsoled / Hardtoe Shoes • Safety Glasses with Side
• •
Protection Safety Goggles or Faceshield Fire-Resistant Clothing

Process Hazards
• • • • • •
Emergency Flare Atmospheric Pressure Relief High Temperature (up to 2000oF) Low Temperature (e.g., Brittle Fracture) High Pressure (up to 3000 psig) Low Pressure (e.g., vacuum)

Some petrochemicals are produced in large enough bulk to
take a significant proportion of refinery products: the world consumed 345 million tons of hydrocarbons in 2004

to make 310 million tons of petrochemicals.
Most of the hydrocarbons are first turned into one of three intermediates - ethylene, propylene and aromatics – before being converted to other products. Of the latter, plastics accounted for 225 million tons, and fibres for 38 million tons; solvents, detergents and synthetic rubber accounted for most of the rest.

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