December 2001

Special Report: Plant Utilities

Balance hydrogen consumption

Atomic, molar and energy-based models can improve refinery operation

Hartmann, J.C.M., Consultant

Many refinery processes compete for hydrogen (H2) to upgrade low-value residuals to higher-value distillates and transportation fuels. Treating hydrocarbons (HC) and removing nonHC elements (sulfur, nitrogen, etc.) requires H2. Also, there is a continuous trend to reduce components containing low H2 in transportation fuels. Hydrogen is rapidly becoming a scarce resource. With the unpopularity of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, it can even be said that HC value is concentrated in H2 atoms and that carbon (C) atoms are just carriers with zero or even negative value. Balancing H2 consumption with availability is a major issue in modern refineries. However, the H2 balance is oft

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