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Generating value from refinery residue with gasification

One of the most compelling challenges of the 21st Century is finding a way to meet national and global energy needs. Oil refineries can help meet this challenge while generating more economic value by adopting a gasification process.

The economic benefits Of gasification

Refineries usually convert their waste or residue into asphalt or bitumen, products from which they derive very little economic value. Gasification technology converts this waste into valuable commodities, such as power, steam, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen, that are used in everyday refinery operations. A study by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) estimates these savings are worth US$ 13000 – $ 55000/day. Additionally, a refinery gasification plant is an attractive alternative energy source in regions with high natural gas prices.

In addition to the above operating expense savings, refineries can reduce their capital budgets when installing a gasification plant. Used plants are sold at a fraction of the cost of a new plant, often yielding savings of 40 – 50%. With new gasification plant investments running at US$ 500 – 800 million, the savings can fund a significant number of incremental capital projects. In addition to saving their investment capital, used plants save companies time and human capital. Generally speaking, facilities such as a gasification plant can be dismantled, relocated, re-assembled and operating in less than half the time of designing and building a new plant from scratch.

For example, International Process Plants (IPP) has a gasification plant available which converts refinery residue waste into clean synthetic gas. This plant consumes 1400 tpd of heavy residues to produce over 3000 tpd of clean syngas and can be modified to use petcoke or coal.

Refinery gasification opportunity

The IPP plant uses licensed technology from Texaco (GE Gasification), ABB, UOP, Parson and Praxair. The facility is over-designed to accommodate crude oils other than the standard Arab Heavy, such as Basrah Medium high-sulfur and Iranian Heavy feedstocks.

Units of operation

The Texaco gasification system is the core unit in this plant. It uses quench gasifier technology because:

  • It is the best choice for gasifying feedstocks, such as refinery residues that have a high concentration of metal.
  • It has a proven success record in the refinery industry.
  • It is reliable and simple to operate.
  • It offers superior environmental benefits.

Other units of operation include:

  • Carbon extraction unit.
  • Gas cooling and hydrolysis section designed by ABB Lummus Global.
  • UOP acid gas removal system.
  • Sulfur recovery unit comprised of two Parsons Claus units.
  • Praxair™ air separation unit (ASU) produces oxygen that is 95% pure.
  • Grey water treatment unit.
  • Sour water stripper unit.

Written by International Process Plants.

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