An industrial process plant that processes and refines crude oil into more useful products is called an oil refinery. It is also referred to as a petroleum refinery. It produces products such as gasoline, asphalt base, petroleum naphtha, diesel fuel, kerosene, liquefied gas and heating oil. Oil refinery employs the technology of chemical plants and oil production plants.
Oil refineries are usually huge, sprawling industrial complexes with pipes running throughout the buildings. These pipes carry streams of fluids between big chemical processing units. An oil production plant processes the crude oil feedstock. It has an oil depot for storing incoming crude oil feedstock and bulks of liquid products.
Types of Oil Refinery Equipment
- Desalter – It washes out salt from crude oil before it goes into the atmospheric distillation unit.
- Atmospheric Distiller – It distils crude oil into fractions.
- Vacuum Distiller – It further distils residual bottoms after atmospheric distillation.
- Hydrotreater – It desulfurizers naphtha from atmospheric distillation using hydrogen.
- Catalytic Reformer – It converts the naphtha-boiling range molecules into higher reformer product.
- Fluid Catalytic Cracker – It upgrades heavier fractions into lighter and more valuable products.
- Hydrocracker – It also upgrades heavier fractions into lighter and more valuable products, using hydrogen.
- Visbreaking equipment – It upgrades heavy residual oils by cracking them into lighter and more valuable reduced viscosity products.
- Merox equipment – It treats LPG, jet fuel or kerosene using marcaptans oxidants to produce organic disulfides.
- Coking equipment – It processes heavy residual oils into gasoline and diesel fuel, leaving petroleum coke as a residual product.
- Alkylation equipment – It produces high-octane components for gasoline blending using sulphuric acid or hydrofluoric acid.
- Dimerizer equipment – It converts olefins into higher-octane gasoline blending components.
- Isomerizer – It converts linear molecules to high-octane branched molecules so they could be blended into gasoline or fed to alkylation units.
- Stream Reformer – It produces hydrogen for the hydrotreaters or hydrocrackers.
- Liquefied Storage Vessels – It is used for storing liquefied gas.
- Storage Tanks – It stores crude oil and other finished products.
- Mine Gas Treater – It converts hydrogen sulphide from hydrodesulfurization into elemental sulphur.
- Cooling Towers – It circulates cooling water.
- Boiler Plants – It generates steam.
- Instrument Air system – It pneumatically operates control valves and an electrical substation.
- Wastewater Collector – It collects waste water and treats it to make water suitable for disposal or reuse.