Use of oxygen in petroleum & natural gas refining is extensive for enhancing the capacity of Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) plants and Sulfur Recovery Units (SRU). It is also required for waste water treatment. There is no denying the fact that such requirements of oxygen can only be met by installing oxygen plant. For processing crudes, sulfur must be removed which causes significant environmental damage. Use of oxygen helps to meet strict environmental regulations and is cost-effective as well.
Oxygen & sulfur recovery
Sulfur recovery is carried out using Claus plants in petroleum and natural gas refinery. Claus plants provide 98% of the recovery capability in petroleum & natural gas processing. For recovery of sulfur from sour crudes, hydrogen sulfide, which produced as a result of combustion, is oxidized and is converted to produce molten sulfur. Oxygen is injected into the Claus plant reaction furnace. Increase of oxygen concentration increases the operating temperature of furnace resulting in destruction of ammonia. And the reaction furnace capability is enhanced to combust oxygen, hydrogen sulfide and air mixture during the processing allowing condensers to recover sulfur. Installing onsite oxygen plant provides oxygen on demand.
Increases process efficiency
Oxygen is needed for running FCC and SRU units. Installation of onsite oxygen plants provides oxygen on demand that increases petroleum and natural gas productivity. Use of oxygen-based combustion technologies increases productivity besides being low-cost. It also helps in the reduction of nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide emissions. These technologies are employed in most of the refining facilities. One can use oxygen in fired heaters with high prior on safety. Highly combustible gas is used in jets for internal fuel gas recirculation, control flame strength and stability. By removing nitrogen and replacing it with oxygen fuel consumption can reduced to a great degree,
Moreover, increased oxygen consumption can be done without shutting down the heater. Oxy-fuel process s is used for increasing heater efficiency by replacing a portion of combustion air with oxygen. Using high quality oxygen plants the refiners ensure that will not go out of oxygen supplies. It must be ensured that the plants are CE certified & have world-class designing.
Oxygen helps in emissions reduction
Oxygen is used in Fluid Catalytic Cracker (FCC) units for reduction of emissions and increasing operational flexibility. Refiners think it is a cost-effective option for meeting environmental safety regulation and increasing margins of the business. A high velocity jet of oxygen is introduced into the process gases. As a result, carbon-monoxide (CO) levels are significantly reduced, and nitrogen oxide can be decreases by significant margin.
Other applications of oxygen in oil & gas industry
As mentioned above, oxygen is used in gas processing in petroleum & natural gas refineries. It is a well-known fact in the industry that oxygen pressurization is very effective in increasing productivity of industrial equipment. It is ideal for decreasing the amount of fuel gas and improving conversion ratio of the reaction. Oxygen enriched air is also used in liquid-phase catalytic cracking units to improve the efficiency of the catalyst regeneration process.
Main benefits of oxygen in oil & gas industry
- Decrease the amount of fuel gas
- Improve the conversion ratio in the refinery process
- Enhance the efficiency of catalyst regeneration