The refinery industry is confronted with a difficult challenge, processing heavier and more contaminated crudes while transportation fuel specifications tighten and the demand for light products increases.
Conversion technologies have been developed and improved over the years, but conversion leaves the refiner with a lower value residual bottom product.
We have leading expertise in a range of options which can integrate residue upgrading with the combined production of hydrogen and electric power.
PetroPower™ is our unique integrated technology solution to achieve a zero residue configuration, combining our two world-leading technologies, our SYDECSM
(selective yield delayed coking) process and our circulating fluidised bed
(CFB) technology, using the petcoke on-site to produce steam and power.
PetroPower is a proven solution that significantly improves refinery profitability as relatively low-value coke is converted into valuable energy (power and steam) required in the refinery. We can also demonstrate that this solution offers very high availability and reliability.
Petcoke from the coker is burned in a CFB which is by far the most suitable combustion technology for low reactivity, high-sulphur fuels, such as petcoke, producing steam that in turn generates electric power by expansion in a steam turbine.
We have operational experience with this unique technology combination too. Our PetroPower unit located in Talcahuano, Chile operated continuously between 17 September 2011 and 3 January 2013 for a record 467 days at 101.6% load firing 100% petcoke.
We designed and built, and now operate and maintain this facility (and own 85% with 15% owned by ENAP), the state-owned oil company of the Republic of Chile, which began commercial operation in November 1998. It has a 12,000 bpd delayed coker facility, 7,000 bpd hydrotreater and 74 MW cogeneration facility.
Our unrivalled expertise in gasification fits very well as part of our bottom-of-the-barrel processing expertise, where the heaviest, and least valuable, products such as coke or asphalt can be gasified to produce hydrogen, power, or used as feedstock for downstream chemicals. Similarly, gasification can be considered for a number of additional potential feeds, like coal, biomass and various types of wastes.
Gasification offers a range of options:
- Products include methanol, ammonia/urea, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, chemicals and fertilisers, substitute natural gas and transportation fuels
- Power generation in an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC), which meets the target of high-efficiency and minimum emissions to the environment
- Clean and environmentally-compatible use of high sulphur and heavy metal content fuels
- Large-size plants for competitive electric power and hydrogen production
- Marginal cost to capture CO2 is low
- Flexible design to meet different capacity requirements.
Gasifiers can be designed to run on a single material or a blend of feedstocks including:
- Solids – petroleum coke, coal, biomass, waste paper, plastics, industrial and municipal waste
- Liquids – liquid refinery residues
- Gas (by reforming) – natural gas or refinery/chemical off-gas.
Hydrogen availability is key in refineries installing residue upgrading units to meet clean fuels requirements and to produce more valuable products. Gasification can provide also the answer to soaring fossil fuel prices. Syngas produced from gasification consists mainly of a mixture of hydrogen, CO, CO2 and water with pollutants that need to be removed.
Hydrogen in the syngas and that produced by means of CO shift, can be separated from sour compounds and CO2 and purified in a PSA unit. We have current expertise in designing gasification units to provide a reliable source of hydrogen.
Installing gasification and syngas cleaning units can reduce overall emissions of SOx, NOx, CO2, particulates, metals and chlorine and can produce useful products to maximise profitability.