From the wellhead to the pump, petroleum refining is a unique and crucial element in the petroleum supply chain. Converting crude oil (which has minimal end-use value) into a variety of refined products, including transportation fuels, adds value to crude oil which otherwise has very little value.
Petroleum refineries are massive, high-capital-intensity manufacturing plants with exceedingly complicated processing schemes. They refine crude oils and other raw materials into a variety of products, including:
- Liquified petroleum gases (LPG)
- Jet fuel
- Diesel fuel
- Kerosene (for lighting and heating)
- Feedstocks for petrochemicals
- Heating oil for the home
- Waxes and lubricating oils
- Fuel oil (for power generation, marine fuel, industrial and district heating)
- Asphalt (for paving and roofing uses).
Transportation fuels have the highest value, whereas fuel oils and asphalt have the lowest. Many refined products, such as gasoline, come in a variety of grades to fulfil various specifications and standards.
Refineries create a wide range of refined products, from the lightest, like LPG, to the heaviest, like residual fuel oil. They do so not only due to market demand for the many products, but also due to the qualities of crude oil and the capabilities of refineries, which limit the volume of any one product that a refinery can create. Refineries can – and do – adjust their operations to respond to changing crude oil and product markets, but only within the physical constraints imposed by their refineries’ performance characteristics and the attributes of the crude oils they process.
There are currently over 660 refineries operating in 116 countries, generating about 85 million barrels of refined products each day. Each refinery has its own physical layout, as well as its own set of operating characteristics and economics. The location, vintage, availability of funds for capital investment, available crude oils, product demand (from local and/or export markets), product quality requirements, environmental regulations and standards, and market specifications and requirements for refined products all influence the refinery’s configuration and performance characteristics.
- Environmental Protection Additives
- Extend Operating Cycle & Reduce Energy Consumption Additives
- Product Quality Improvement Additives
- Raw Oil Quality & Catalytic Activity Improvement Additives
- Product Distribution Improvement Additives
- Crude Oil Processing
- Fluid Catalytic Cracking
The following are examples of fuel additives:
- Corrosion inhibitors for carbon steel and copper for gasoline and diesel
- Silver-based gasoline corrosion inhibitors
- Middle distillate stabilisers (diesel and fuel oils)
- Gasoline, medium distillates, and jet fuel metal deactivators
- Cold flow improvers for intermediate oils, crude oil, and medium distillates
- Antioxidants in gasoline and jet fuel
- Improvers of lubricity for diesel and jet fuel
- H2S scavengers for crude oil, gasoline, intermediate distillates, asphalt, naphtha, and gasoil
- Gasoline, diesel, and intermediate biocides
- Improvers for gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel conductivity
- Gasoline and medium distillate dehaxers
- Diesel cetane enhancer
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