Hydrogen & Fuel Gas Management

Hydrogen & Fuel Gas Management

Hydrogen is used to hydrotreat product fractions for removal of sulphur and nitrogen in fuel products. Hydrogen management is becoming increasingly popular among refiners due to stringent regulations on allowable levels of sulphur and nitrogen content in products. Refiners are investing in hydrogen imports or additional hydrogen unit to meet the tightened fuel specifications that provides a challenge to efficiently use and recover hydrogen. PIL studies the interaction of hydrogen with various processes and proposes new hydrogen sources, guidelines on optimal operations and online monitoring & optimization tool to maintain optimal operating conditions.

What are the Issues with Hydrogen Systems?

Very energy intensive

Lower H2 Efficiency in Refinery

Typically, it has been observed that hydrogen consumption is around 75-85% of production. Achievable efficiency ideally should be 90% and above.

Hydrogen Deficit for Processes

Deficit of hydrogen can lead to reduction of throughput in the hydrotreaters that could severely impact refinery economics.

Frequent changes in steam demand
Variable Tariffs

Sufficient Hydrogen with Lower Purity

On several occasions refiners do produce the required quantities of hydrogen. However, the produced hydrogen cannot be reused in processes because of lower purity levels and must be purged into the fuel gas system or sent to PSA unit for recovery. This significantly increases operating cost.

Hydrogen & Light Hydrocarbon Recovery from Fuel Gas System

During hydrogen purging, it is not uncommon to purge out reusable hydrogen (hydrogen that meets the required levels of purity for hydro-processing) and valuable light hydrocarbons. These practices contribute towards loss of resources and increase operating cost.

Legacy steam distribution infrastructure

PIL’s Offline Consultancy

Our offline solutions are designed to propose operating guidelines that help you maintain optimum operations during variation in hydrogen demand. We also propose a roadmap of futuristic retrofit changes that could be implemented to optimize your hydrogen production and recovery both at a site level and at unit level.

  • No Investment Required (Excluding Consulting Cost)
  • Low to Medium Investment Required

Operational optimization: The following key operational parameters are adjusted to bring savings typically (typically between 1-3 % per year of current operating cost) without any investments:

At Unit Level At Site Level
  • Reaction conditions such as partial pressure and H2/oil ratio
  • Reallocation between H2 sources and sinks using the existing connections
  • Feedstock selection
  • H2 plants throughput optimization
  • Product H2 purity
  • H2 recovery through purification
  • Integrating hydrogen recovery with light hydrocarbons recovery
  • H2 consumer purge level
  • Integration with fuel systems

Retrofit optimization: The following changes are done to your system setup to bring savings (typically between 5-10% per year of current operating cost) with low to medium CAPEX:

  • Type and number of new units (compressors, gas plant, gas sweetening, etc.)
  • Location and capacity of new units
  • Operating conditions of new units

PIL's Online Consultancy

PIL provides online monitoring and optimization tool that could be combined to your APC system to provide your system manager/operator with optimized operating values based on your system constraints/bottlenecks every 5-10 mins. These values could be used as set points in the Distributed control system (DCS) to drive optimal operations. They key features of our online solutions are:

  • Hydrogen Balance Monitoring & Data Prediction
  • Overall and Units Process & KPI Monitoring
  • Online Optimization
  • Hydrogen Pinch Monitoring
  • Reporting and Data Historian