The petrochemical industry, and each refinery in particular, is unique and different in terms of process integration and the origin of raw materials. In that sense, you need to find an environmental expert who can provide you with customised environmental technology solutions for your specific emissions and waste treatment needs.


The petrochemical sector and the environment

Cogeneration plants, boilers, heaters and catalytic cracking are the main sources of air emissions of carbon monoxide and dioxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter and sulphur oxides (SOx) from refineries and other petroleum product processors.

Storage and handling of raw materials, gas separation units, fugitive emissions in valves, pumps, etc. together with venting are the main sources of volatile organic compound (VOC) pollutant emissions.


Specific aspects of the sector in environmental treatment

In refineries, part of the air emissions are related to the production of the energy needed to carry out the main production processes. The amount of these emissions depends on the type of fuel burned and the nature of the pollutants in the fuel. The most common are refinery gas, natural gas, waste gas, or combinations of these.

Another considerable part of pollutant emissions is closely related to the storage and handling of raw materials and the finished product.

With Tecam by your side you will have the best environmental technology solution at your fingertips for the production processes (separation, conversion, finishing, auxiliary, storage and product handling) at your refinery.


Pollutants in the petrochemical sector

This sector has high-specification requirements.

Examples of compounds: Benzene, Styrene, Naphthalene, PM2,5-5-10 (Particulate Matter), etc.


Some examples of technologies applied to the Petrochemical sector:

  • Pollutant concentration control systems to reduce the percentage of LEL, still treating gases at high concentrations.
  • H2S removal before RTO.
  • High fire and explosion safety requirements.
  • Installation of explosion sensors, flame arresters, etc.
  • Specific control systems.
  • Installation of a hot bypass for the evacuation of high temperatures in the combustion chamber.
  • Reuse of heat from thermal processes.
  • SIL requirements for safety controls.
  • HAZID-HAZOP studies
  • Emission dispersion studies.


Technology to eliminate exhaust gases derived from Petrochemical processes

RTO: An RTO is a piece of equipment designed to eliminate Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Essentially, it is formed of three towers with ceramic beds, where energy is recovered, and a combustion chamber in which the temperature is kept constant in order to enable oxidation. The organic compounds it eliminates consist primarily of carbon and hydrogen: consequently, when they react with oxygen they form carbon dioxide and water. The combustion chamber incorporates a burner that normally uses natural gas to raise the temperature inside the chamber, although other fuels (fuel oil, diesel oil, etc.) can also be used.


Technology to eliminate waste derived from Petrochemical processes

Waste-to-energy: Waste-to-energy refers to technologies designed to recover energy from any type of waste, with a focus on the production of thermal or electrical energy (or both).

Such systems can be based on a number of different technical solutions for recovering energy from waste, including:

  • Incineration
  • Pyrolysis

The common denominator of all these technologies is their capacity to produce steam using the residual heat from the gases generated by the processes described above.

In turn, the production of steam makes it possible to:

  • Supply heating in urban centres, in line with the district heating model.
  • Supply a variety of industrial processes
  • Produce electrical energy via steam-powered turbines for self-consumption in industrial plants and/or sale via classic “sell to grid” models
  • Another valid technical alternative, albeit one that only applies to pyrolysis processes, is the direct production of energy via syngas-powered turbines. This is rather less common, due to the unique nature of pyrolytic reactors and the high CAPEX required for such facilities; however, these solutions guarantee outstanding performance, heat balance close to autothermal operation, very low OPEX and, as a result, a short return on investment.


A successful story in Abu Dhabi

ADNOC is one of the world’s leading petrochemical companies, producing more than 40 million tonnes of refined products every year.Tecam carried out the engineering, installation and commissioning of an incineration plant for NORM (radioactive) waste, along with a flue gas treatment system for this petrochemical plant near Abu Dhabi.


Please contact us today if you have any environmental challenge at your Petrochemical plant – we’ll be happy to help.

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