An oil refinery is pictured 22 September

Improving the carbon balance of refineries through cleaner processes and products that release fewer emissions

Refineries generally process crude oil into motor and heating fuels, but also produce gaseous fuels, synthesis gases, petrochemicals and feeds for lubricant production and asphalt.

Environmental pressures are particularly acute in this sector given the dwindling supplies of natural reserves and the effects of climate change. Increasingly severe environmental protection laws dictate cleaner refining processes and fuels, coupled with lower emission levels. This is particularly challenging given the dwindling quality of crude oil reserves, as evidenced in rising sulphur levels.

In addition, globalisation is raising the efficiency bar. Capital investment constraints are encouraging refinery operators to look for alternative ways of increasing efficiency, reducing bottlenecks and capitalising on lower-grade crude. Industrial gases can play a vital role in meeting these challenges.

Helping Hand

Refineries require large quantities of gases to control various processes. Pure oxygen, for example, is used to increase the efficiency of wastewater treatment.

Adding oxygen to the air in a Claus plant can help increase plant capacity and remove bottlenecks, also improving ammonia conversion by removing sulphur oxides (SOx). Oxygen enrichment in a fluid catalytic converter can also increase capacity and give operators the flexibility to handle heavier feeds and loads by removing nitrogen oxides (NOx).

Our expertise will bring you quality and environmental benefits in the following areas in particular:

  • Inerting, purging & blanketing
  • NOx removal / SOx removal
  • Water treatment.