Minggu, 27 Maret 2011

Oil Refinery

An oil refinery or petroleum refinery is an industrial process plant where crude oilis processed and refined into more useful petroleum products, such as gasoline,diesel fuelasphalt baseheating oilkerosene, and liquefied petroleum gas. Oil refineries are typically large sprawling industrial complexes with extensive pipingrunning throughout, carrying streams of fluids between large chemical processingunits. In many ways, oil refineries use much of the technology of, and can be thought of as types of chemical plants. The crude oil feedstock has typically been processed by an oil production plant. There is usually an oil depot (tank farm) at or near an oil refinery for storage of bulk liquid products.
An oil refinery is considered an essential part of the downstream side of thepetroleum industry.

Raw or unprocessed crude oil is not generally useful. Although “light, sweet” (low viscosity, low sulfur) crude oil has been used directly as a burner fuel for steam vessel propulsion, the lighter elements form explosive vapors in the fuel tanks and are therefore hazardous, especially in warships. Instead, the hundreds of different hydrocarbon molecules in crude oil are separated in a refinery into components which can be used as fuelslubricants, and as feedstock in petrochemicalprocesses that manufacture such products as plasticsdetergentssolvents,elastomers and fibers such as nylon and polyesters.
Petroleum fossil fuels are burned in internal combustion engines to provide power for ships, automobiles, aircraft engines, lawn mowers, chainsaws, and other machines. Different boiling points allow the hydrocarbons to be separated bydistillation. Since the lighter liquid products are in great demand for use in internal combustion engines, a modern refinery will convert heavy hydrocarbons and lighter gaseous elements into these higher value products.
The oil refinery in Haifa, Israel is capable of processing about 9 million tons (66 million barrels) of crude oil a year. Its two cooling towers are landmarks of the city’s skyline.
Oil can be used in a variety of ways because it contains hydrocarbons of varyingmolecular masses, forms and lengths such as paraffinsaromaticsnaphthenes(or cycloalkanes), alkenesdienes, and alkynes. While the molecules in crude oil include different atoms such as sulfur and nitrogen, the hydrocarbons are the most common form of molecules, which are molecules of varying lengths and complexity made of hydrogen and carbon atoms, and a small number of oxygen atoms. The differences in the structure of these molecules account for their varying physical and chemical properties, and it is this variety that makes crude oil useful in a broad range of applications.
Once separated and purified of any contaminants and impurities, the fuel or lubricant can be sold without further processing. Smaller molecules such asisobutane and propylene or butylenes can be recombined to meet specific octanerequirements by processes such as alkylation, or less commonly, dimerization. Octane grade of gasoline can also be improved by catalytic reforming, which involves removing hydrogen from hydrocarbons producing compounds with higher octane ratings such as aromatics. Intermediate products such as gasoils can even be reprocessed to break a heavy, long-chained oil into a lighter short-chained one, by various forms of cracking such as fluid catalytic crackingthermal cracking, andhydrocracking. The final step in gasoline production is the blending of fuels with different octane ratings, vapor pressures, and other properties to meet product specifications.
Oil refineries are large scale plants, processing about a hundred thousand to several hundred thousand barrels of crude oil a day. Because of the high capacity, many of the units operate continuously, as opposed to processing in batches, atsteady state or nearly steady state for months to years. The high capacity also makes process optimization and advanced process control very desirable.

Major products

Petroleum products are usually grouped into three categories: light distillates (LPG, gasoline, naphtha), middle distillates (kerosene, diesel), heavy distillates and residuum (heavy fuel oil, lubricating oils, wax, asphalt). This classification is based on the way crude oil is distilled and separated into fractions (called distillates andresiduum) as in the above drawing.[2]
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_refinery

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