Navigation Links
Method makes refineries more efficient
Date:12/22/2009

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Refineries could trim millions of dollars in energy costs annually by using a new method developed at Purdue University to rearrange the distillation sequence needed to separate crude petroleum into products.

The researchers have demonstrated their method on petroleum plants that separate crude, showing that 70 of the new sequences they identified could enable oil refineries to improve the energy efficiency of this step anywhere from 6 percent to 48 percent, said Rakesh Agrawal, the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering.

"This is important because improving efficiency by 10 percent at a refinery processing 250,000 barrels per day would save in excess of $12 million a year if oil were priced at $70 a barrel," said Agrawal, who is working with doctoral student Vishesh Shah. "And that's just a single refinery. For the U.S. petroleum industry as a whole, this is a huge potential savings."

Research findings appeared online this month in the AIChE Journal, the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and will be included in a future issue of the magazine.

Chemical plants spend from 50 percent to 70 percent of their energy in "separations," which are usually distillation steps required to separate a raw material into various products. In the case of petroleum, four distillation columns are needed to separate raw crude into five separate components - naphtha, kerosene, diesel fuel, gas oil and heavy residue. Some of these components are later used to make gasoline.

"Separations are a huge part of what chemical plants do," Agrawal said. "Improving efficiency by only a few percentage points translates into major savings. For every 100 barrels of oil distilled, nearly two barrels go into supplying energy for distillation. That's a lot of oil."

Crude petroleum is fed into the system, heated and vaporized. Vapor rises up the first column, and the product is collected in a condenser at the top. The process is repeated in additional columns, with the number of columns depending on how many components are to be separated.

But the distillation is more energy efficient depending on the order in which the columns are operated.

"There are many ways to arrange the columns," Agrawal said.

Shah created a computer algorithm that identifies all of the possible sequences and then determines which require the least heat and energy. The Purdue researchers used their new technique to determine there are nearly 6,000 possible sequences for the four columns used in petroleum distillation.

"Once we know all of the possible ways they can be arranged, then we can tell you which ones have the potential to be the most energy efficient," Agrawal said.

Petroleum refineries have been using the same sequence for about 75 years, and it is the most energy efficient of the sequences known to industry, the Purdue researchers confirmed using their new method.

The researchers also determined, however, that 70 of the new sequences identified have potential to consume less energy than the sequence now used by industry. Those 70 sequences range from being 6 percent to 48 percent more energy efficient than the method currently in use.

"However, just because a particular sequence would be more energy efficient doesn't mean it would be practical for industry to implement," Agrawal said. "There are a lot of challenges. Some are easy to build and just involve trivial retrofitting, and some are more difficult. So we'll need to work with companies and refinery experts to determine which sequences could be built."


'/>"/>

Contact: Emil Venere
venere@purdue.edu
765-494-4709
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Boston University reseachers develop faster, cheaper DNA sequencing method
2. New management methods extend blackberry season
3. New study reveals first ever method to genetically identify all 8 tuna species
4. Widely used virus assay shown unreliable when compared to other methods
5. GSU professor develops new method to help keep fruit, vegetables and flowers fresh
6. Magnetic nanotags spot cancer in mice earlier than methods now in clinical use
7. Company Granted Patent on Apparatus, Systems, and Methods for Gathering and Processing Wireless Biometric and Biomechanical Data
8. Cold Spring Harbor Protocols features RNA analysis methods
9. Epigentek Develops a New Method of Measuring Global DNA Methylation
10. A new chemical method for distinguishing between farmed and wild salmon
11. New method monitors early sign of oxidative stress in cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016 ... "Global Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report to their ... ) , ,The global gait biometrics market ... 13.98% during the period 2016-2020. Gait ... which can be used to compute factors that ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial ... Bready , M.D., who returned to the company in ... leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver ... Nurnberg and Vice President of Software and Informatics, ... Dr. Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... , PROVO and ... Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO), which operates the highest sample ... molecular testing, and Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in ... respectively, today announced the launch of a project to ... (NGS) testing panel. NSO has been ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... Last ... planning for corporate executives and entrepreneurs, held The Future of San Diego Life Science ... the San Diego life science community attended the event with speakers Dr. Rich Heyman, ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry ... a.m. ET before the United States House Committee on Science, ... play in controlling the spread of the Aedes aegypti ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150630/227348 ) Oxitec ... gene. Trials in Brazil , ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... ... The leading Regenerative Veterinary Medicine Company, VetStem Biopharma ., is proud ... of their own patients with the VetStem Cell Therapy. Each of these veterinarians has ... patients. , The veterinarians are Dr Ross Rich former owner of Cave Creek ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... Columbia , May 19, 2016  AdvancedFlow ... Innovations Inc. (AGI), based out of ... Greenlane Biogas Ltd. to its existing portfolio of ... manufacturing agreement. AFS along with its sister companies ... is a vertically integrated industrial group that specializes ...
Breaking Biology Technology: