The Refinery of the Future

1st Edition

Authors: James Speight
Hardcover ISBN: 9780815520412
eBook ISBN: 9781437778526
Imprint: William Andrew
Published Date: 15th December 2010
Page Count: 416
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As feedstocks to refineries change, there must be an accompanying change in refinery technology. This means a movement from conventional means of refining heavy feedstocks using (typically) coking technologies to more innovative processes that will coax the last drips of liquid fuels from the feedstock.

This book presents the evolution of refinery processes during the last century and as well as the means by which refinery processes will evolve during the next three-to-five decades. Chapters contain material relevant to (1) comparisons of current feedstocks with heavy oil and bio-feedstocks; (2) evolution of refineries since the 1950s, (3) properties and refinability of heavy oil and bio-feedstocks, (4) thermal processes vs. hydroprocesses, and (5) evolution of products to match the environmental market.

Process innovations that have influenced refinery processing over the past three decades are presented, as well as the relevant patents that have the potential for incorporation into future refineries.

• Comparison of current feedstocks with heavy oil and bio-feedstocks.
• Evolution of refineries over the past three decades.
• Properties and refinability of heavy oil and bio-feedstocks.
• Thermal processes vs. Hydroprocesses.
• Evolution of products to match the environmental market.

Key Features

  • Investigates the engineering and plant design challenges presented by heavy oil and bio-feedstocks
  • Explores the legislatory and regulatory climate, including increasingly stringent environmental requirements
  • Examines the trade-offs of thermal processes vs. hydroprocesses


Chemical and Process Engineers; Oil & Gas community; Business planners; government and public policy community

Table of Contents


CHAPTER 1: FEEDSTOCK COMPOSITION AND PROPERTIES 1.0 Occurrence and Reserves 1.1 Conventional Petroleum 1.2 Heavy Oil 1.3 Tar Sand Bitumen 1.4 Bio-feedstocks 2.0 Recovery and Properties 3.0. Ultimate (Elemental) Composition 4.0 Chemical Composition 5.0 Fractional Composition 6.0 References

CHAPTER 2: INTRODUCTION TO REFINING PROCESSES 1.0 Dewatering and Desalting 2.0 Distillation 3.0 Thermal Methods 4.0 Catalytic Methods 5.0 Hydroprocesses 6.0 Reforming 7.0 Isomerization, Alkylation, and Polymerization Processes 9.0 References

CHAPTER 3: REFINING CHEMISTRY 1.0 Cracking 2.0 Hydrogenation 3.0 Isomerization, Alkylation, and Polymerization 4.0 Instability and Incompatibility 5.0 References

CHAPTER 4: DISTILLATION 1.0 Current Processes and Equipment 3.1 Atmospheric Distillation 3.2 Vacuum Distillation 2.0 Other Processes 3.0 Process Innovations 4.0 Relevant Patents 5.0 References

CHAPTER 5: THERMAL CRACKING 1.0 Commercial Processes 1.1 Visbreaking 1.2 Coking Processes 2.0 Process Options for Heavy Feedstocks 3.0 Process Innovations 4.0 Relevant Patents 5.0 References

CHAPTER 6: CATALYTIC CRACKING 1.0 Commercial Processes and Catalysts 1.1 Fixed-Bed Processes 1.2 Fluid-Bed Processes 1.3 Moving-Bed Processes 2.0 Process Options


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About the Author

James Speight

James G. Speight is a senior fuel consultant as well as an Adjunct Professor of Chemical and Fuels Engineering at the University of Utah, USA. He is recognized internationally as an expert in the characterization, properties, and processing of conventional and synthetic fuels and as a chemist with more than 35 years of experience in thermal/process chemistry, thermodynamics, refining of petroleum, heavy oil, and tar sand bitumen, and physics of crude with emphasis on distillation, visbreaking, coking units, and oil-rock or oil catalyst interactions. Speight is currently Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Petroleum Science and Technology, Energy Sources-Part A: Recovery, Utilization, and Environmental Effects, and Energy Sources-Part B: Economics, Planning, and Policy. He is also the author/editor/compiler of more than 25 books and bibliographies related to fossil fuel processing and environmental issues. Speight was Chief Scientific Officer and then Chief Executive Officer of the Western Research Institute, Laramie, WY, USA, from 1984 to 2000. During this period he led a staff of more that 150 scientists, engineers, and technicians in developing new technology for gas processing, petroleum, shale oil, tar sand bitumen, and asphalt. Speight has considerable expertise in evaluating new technologies for patentability and commercial application. As a result of his work, he was awarded the Diploma of Honor, National Petroleum Engineering Society, for outstanding contributions to the petroleum industry in 1995 and the Gold Medal of Russian Academy of Sciences (Natural) for outstanding work in the area of petroleum science in 1996. He has also received the Specialist Invitation Program Speakers Award from NEDO (New Energy Development Organization, Government of Japan) in 1987 and again in 1996 for his contributions to coal research. In 2001, he was also awarded the Einstein Medal of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Natural) in recognition of outstanding contributions and

Affiliations and Expertise

Editor, Petroleum Science and Technology (formerly Fuel Science and Technology International) and Energy Sources; Adjunct Professor of Chemical and Fuels Engineering, University of Utah, USA