Energy Efficiency Improvement Opportunities for the Petroleum Refining Industry

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This report provides information on the energy savings, costs, and carbon dioxide emissions reductions associated with implementation of a number of technologies and measures applicable to the petroleum refining industry. The technologies and measures include both state-of-the-art measures that are currently in use in refineries worldwide as well as advanced measures that are either only in limited use or are near commercialization.

This report focuses on retrofit measures using commercially available technologies, but many of these technologies are applicable for new plants as well. For each technology or measure, costs and energy savings per barrel of product are estimated in the text following the Tables 1 to 3. Table 1 lists all cross cutting and utility measures in this report by process to which they apply. Table 2 provides all process-specific energy efficiency opportunities grouped by process. Table 4 provides a matrix for the petroleum refining industry as organized in this report for each major process in the refinery (in rows) and the applicable categories of energy efficiency measures delineated in sections of this report (in columns).

Advanced technologies and measures for reducing energy use and carbon dioxide emissions include membrane technologies, dividing-wall distillation, reactive distillation and biodesulfurization. In the petroleum refining industry, these technologies are currently not in commercial use or are still expanding into new areas (e.g., membranes, dividing-wall distillation).

This information was originally collected for a report on the U.S. petroleum refining industry (Worrell and Galitsky, 2005) and has been supplemented with information from Martin et al. (2000) and Worrell and Galitsky (2004). The information provided in this report is based on publicly-available reports, journal articles, and case studies from applications of technologies around the world, however, data for energy savings, costs, and carbon emissions savings were all calculated based on U.S. conditions.

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