February 2010

Special Report: Clean Fuels

Consider new methods for bottom of the barrel processing - Part 1

Advanced methods use molecule management to upgrade heavy ends

Large price differentials between light, sweet crudes vs. heavy, sour crudes have created strong incentives for refiners to lower costs by incorporating as much heavy crude blends into the refinery processing in scheme as it can tolerate. Several refineries have little or no bottoms processing capabilities, thus yielding large volumes of high-sulfur fuel oil (FO). New bunker-fuel legislation and pending carbon-footprint initiatives create the need to further upgrade refinery resid products, both for expansion and enhancement reasons. Several case histories will cover the staggered investment options to produce premium road asphalt and solid fuels (Fig. 1).

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