Oil Refinery Process

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Oil Refinery Processes
A Brief Overview

Ronald (Ron) F. Colwell, P.E.

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Some Historical Events


















3000 BC Sumerians use asphalt as an adhesive; Eqyptians use pitch to grease chariot wheels; Mesopotamians use bitumen to seal boats
600 BC Confucius writes about drilling a 100’ gas well and using bamboo for pipes 1500 AD Chinese dig oil wells >2000’ deep
1847 First “rock oil” refinery in England
1849 Canada distills kerosene from crude oil
1856 World’s first refinery in Romania
1857 Flat-wick kerosene lamp invented
1859 Pennsylvania oil boom begins with 69’ oil well producing 35 bpd 1860-61 Refineries built in Pennsylvania and Arkansas
1870 US Largest oil exporter; oil was US 2nd biggest export
1878 Thomas Edison invents light bulb
1901 Spindletop, Texas producing 100,000 bpd kicks off modern era of oil refining 1908 Model T’s sell for $950/T
1913 Gulf Oil opens first drive-in filling station
1942 First Fluidized Catalytic Cracker (FCC) commercialized
1970 First Earth Day; EPA passes Clean Air Act
2005 US Refining capacity is 17,042,000 bpd, 23% of World’s 73MM

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1876 California Oil Refinery

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What is Petroleum?
• A complex mixture containing thousands
of different organic hydrocarbon molecules
– 83-87% Carbon
– 11-15% Hydrogen
– 1-6% Sulfur

• Paraffins – saturated chains
• Naphthenes – saturated rings
• Aromatics – unsaturated rings
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Generic Process Schematic
LPG

Naphtha
Hydrotreating

Hydrogen
Gasoline
Isomerization

Crude
Distillation

Catalytic Reforming

Mid-Distillate
Hydrotreating
Jet, Diesel
Crude

Gasoline, Aromatics

Hydrocracking

Jet, Diesel

LPG
Alkylation

FCC

Gasoline
Gasoline
Cycle oil to hydrotreating
or hydrocracking

Vacuum
Distillation
Coking
Asphalt

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Petroleum
Coke
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CDU Process
• Process Objective:
– To distill and separate valuable distillates (naphtha, kerosene, diesel) and atmospheric gas oil (AGO) from the crude feedstock.

• Primary Process Technique:
– Complex distillation

• Process steps:
– Preheat the crude feed utilizing recovered heat from the product streams
– Desalt and dehydrate the crude using electrostatic enhanced liquid/liquid separation (Desalter)
– Heat the crude to the desired temperature using fired heaters – Flash the crude in the atmospheric distillation column
– Utilize pumparound cooling loops to create internal liquid reflux – Product draws are on the top, sides, and bottom

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Crude Distillation Unit (CDU)
Process Schematic
Atmos
Gas

Naphtha
Top
Pumparound
Kero

Diesel
Bottom
Pumparound

AGO

Water

Cold
Preheat

Hot
Preheat

Mix
Valve

Atmos
Column
Atmos
Furnace

Reduced
Crude

Crude

Desalter

Brine

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CDU Process
• Typical Yields and Dispositions
PRODUCT

Yield, wt% of Crude

Disposition

Light Ends

2.3...
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