Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Combination of processes results in cleaner petrol

13.03.2006


One problem confronting the oil industry is that extracted mineral oil (due to increasing scarcity) is becoming heavier and ’dirtier’. This is reflected, for instance, in a higher content of aromatics (which among other things lead to soot emissions during combustion in diesel engines) and of sulphur (which among things causes acid rain). At the same time, the global ceilings for aromatics and sulphur content in fuels are becoming increasingly strict.



The Delft-based PhD student Xander Dupain has investigated a method which produces cleaner petrol using the method of ’catalytic cracking’. Catalytic cracking, with a worldwide processing capacity of over 500 million tonnes of oil per year, is one of the most important processes applied in modern oil refineries and the prime method for making petrol from oil. In addition it is an important way of producing diesel blends and valuable products such as propene and butene. The disadvantage of catalytic cracking is that a further expensive process (hydrotreatment) is often required to render the petrol and diesel sufficiently clean and bring it into line with the necessary specifications.

The core of Dupain’s method is a combination of catalytic cracking with the Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis process. This chemical process was invented in the 1920s by the German researchers Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch and further developed in Germany during the Second World War for the production of synthetic fuels from coal. Due to the relatively low oil prices in the period following the Second World War this method then mostly went out of fashion, with the exception of South Africa where – prompted by the international oil embargo – it was applied by the Sasol company to meet fuel demands. In recent years, as oil prices rise, the process has been experiencing a revival: with the activities of Shell in Malaysia and Qatar, for instance. It is now primarily being applied to obtain relatively clean synthetic diesel from natural gas and to make a series of other products which contain extremely low concentrations of sulphur, nitrogen and aromatics. Dupain believes it can be economically and environmentally interesting to catalytically crack the fairly ’heavy’ faction (waxes) which is created by the Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis process. At the moment this cracking is still done using expensive hydrocracking that focuses mainly on the production of diesel and that also involves high consumption of hydrogen.


Catalytic cracking of the products from Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis results in clean and high-quality petrol. Moreover, it is possible to produce good diesel as a by-product – and the process also creates relatively large quantities of propene and butene. Is it above all this latter aspect that leads Dupain to think that the combination of a Fischer-Tropsch installation with a catalytic cracker can also be interesting in economic terms. After all, propene is an important raw material for the plastics industry. Demand for propene is set to rise in the coming years.

Frank Nuijens | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tudelft.nl

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>