In the new millennium, the emission of greenhouse gases has become one of the most urgent concerns of society.
The energy systems of the process and utility industries emit significant amounts of carbon dioxide. The international pressure to reduce CO2 emissions worldwide has led to the necessity to find ways to produce energy with significantly reduced emissions. Energy conservation is important, but the capacity to reduce emissions by energy conservation alone is limited. How can we make our contribution to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions?
Emissions can be reduced by
- changing fuels
- changes to utility systems
- process changes
- improved heat recovery
- CO2 capture and sequestration
- carbon trading
The most effective strategy for minimization of emissions might call for an integrated combination of these actions to achieve environmental targets at minimum cost.
Oil refining, in particular, offers significant degrees of freedom across the refinery. Emissions arise both from the combustion of fossil fuels and from process emissions (particularly fluid catalytic cracking). Refinery operations are flexible enough to allow the crude oil feed to be separated and processed to different product mixes. Changing the process operating conditions and production in different parts of the refinery can have a major effect on the overall CO2 emissions. Yet, such changes also affect the refinery profitability. Process Integration Ltd can provide insights into how to reconcile such issues.
Decarbonization technologies that separate and sequestrate the CO2 can be used. The separation of CO2 can be integrated with process and energy systems in different ways. Post-combustion decarbonization separates the CO2 after the combustion process. Oxy-combustion separates the CO2 post-combustion using oxygen-based combustion. Pre-combustion decarbonization separates the CO2 prior to the combustion process. Reforming and gasification can both be used for pre-combustion CO2 separation and capture.
Process Integration Ltd can provide a strategy to achieve targets for greenhouse gas emissions at minimum cost through integrating the different emission reduction techniques.