A new technology using a waste-heat-powered, ammonia-absorption refrigeration unit to chill and condense the gases, capturing them as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), soon will be improving petroleum refinery efficiencies.
Traditionally, petroleum refineries flare their waste gases, but the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT) has developed the new technique that can recover millions of gallons of LPG per year and reduce CO2 emissions. OIT's Petroleum Team, sponsor of the R&D project, demonstrated the technology at the 27,000-barrels-per-day Ultramar Diamond Shamrock refinery in Denver, where it showed the capability to recover 2.1 million gal of LPG and gasoline per year. The recovery also would reduce the plant's CO2 emissions by 10,000 tons.
Now commercially available, "this technology can almost immediately save energy, reduce emissions and boost profits at nearly any refinery in the country," said Jim Quinn, team leader.
Named Environmental Project of the Year by the Association of Energy Engineers, the project is one of 120 scheduled to be commercialized within two years. About 400 additional programs also are in the works. For a summary of program results, visit www.pnl.gov/impacts. OIT forms partnerships with industry to improve industrial energy efficiency.