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Refineries are increasingly challenged to process heavier, more sour crude with a higher sulfur content as these fractions gain in importance in today‘s oil industry. At the same time, increasingly stringent environmental regulations are lowering the permissible sulfur content of refinery products. This means that refineries have to desulfurise crude more effectively and this can lead to production bottlenecks. This is exacerbated by rising competition, especially as emerging markets enjoy the benefits of easier access to feedstock and lower labour costs. These forces are prompting many refining operators to explore ways of increasing efficiency and lowering their emissions – ideally without having to make massive investments in new equipment and technologies.
Role of gases
Refineries require large quantities of gases to control various processes. Pure oxygen, for example, is used to increase the efficiency of wastewater treatment. Adding oxygen to the air in a Claus plant can help increase plant capacity and remove bottlenecks, also improving ammonia conversion by removing sulfur oxides (SOx). Oxygen enrichment in a fluid catalytic cracker can also increase capacity and give operators the flexibility to handle heavier feeds and loads by removing nitrogen oxides (NOx). And cryogenic gases can be used to recover volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for recycling or appropriate disposal.
Selective, safe investments in the right gases, application technologies and supply schemes can thus play a key role in fine-tuning key links in the refining process flow.
Here at Linde, we have developed a number of innovative process technologies to help refiners unlock the full productivity and profitability potential of their refinery for smarter, cleaner and more economical operations. Our application technologies include our SURE® oxygen enrichment portfolio to increase the efficiency and flexibility of Claus furnaces by as much as 170% in some cases. Our oxygen enrichment technologies have also been shown to increase regenerator capacity in fluid catalytic crackers (FCC) by as much as 35% and to intensify combustion in various process furnaces – also by up to 35%. In addition, we offer wastewater solutions such as our SOLVOCARB® water treatment system for neutralisation and pH control and SOLVOX® oxygen dissolution units for aerobic biological treatment and oxygen upgrades. Customers can also rely on us for emissions control solutions such as our LOTOX® NOx removal unit and our CIRRUS® cryocondensation technology for volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Flexible Delivery Modes
Our industrial gases are available in cylinder or bulk form. Our full-line HiQ® portfolio of specialty gases, equipment and services for process measurement and control also comes in portable packages. To help you track and manage your cylinder fleet our cloud based gas cylinder management service ACCURA® is available, or if you prefer an automatic gas supply for tanks and cylinders the SECCURA® service can assist. Additionally, you may have the option of pipeline delivery or on-site production for larger volumes. For your peace of mind, our trained experts can advise on, set up and manage your gas installation.
Quality and environmental benefits
Our refining expertise will bring you quality and environmental benefits in the following areas in particular:
- SURE® sulfur recovery in Claus plants
- Emissions abatement with CIRRUS® and LOTOX®
- Water treatment with SOLVOCARB® and SOLVOX®
- Industrial services for bulk supplies of gases such as nitrogen (for inerting, purging & blanketing)
Linde refining production plant
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