February 2006

Special Report: Clean Fuels

New methods upgrade refinery residuals into lighter products

Gasification of bottom-of-the-barrel byproducts can provide operating flexibility due to tighter fuel oil specifications

Wolff, J., Zuideveld, P., Shell Global Solutions International BV

Gasification of refinery residue is a method to produce hydrogen, carbon monoxide (CO) or both for chemicals (ammonia, methanol and oxo-alcohols). Recently, gasification is also being used to close the hydrogen gap for refineries. This operation is often coupled with further upgrading of refinery bottoms from other unit processes such as solvent deasphalting, coking and visbreaking. Changes in legislation generate more interest in gasification technology. Existing refineries are challenged to improve the quality of all refinery products while continuously reducing plant emissions. Several case histories demonstrate the potential benefits of incorporating gasification into a complex refiner

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