Monday, June 25th, 2018

An assessment of the energy-saving potential in China’s petroleum refining industry from a technical perspective

Publication date: 15 September 2013
Source:Energy, Volume 59
Author(s): Xiaoyu Liu , Dingjiang Chen , Wenjun Zhang , Weizhong Qin , Wenji Zhou , Tong Qiu , Bing Zhu
As a major contributor to productivity and employment in China, the petroleum refining industry consumes approximately 15% of industrial fuel oil and 10% of industrial coal. Given this energy-intensive characteristic, cost-effective investments for energy-efficient technologies may be a useful strategy to improve the competitiveness of China’s refining industry. More importantly, this approach may alleviate the environmental problems China faces. This paper addresses the challenges posed by a highly complex refining system, incomplete industrial information, and the absence of a widely accepted evaluation method. This study models and analyzes the energy-savings potential for refining and conversion processes in the context of technological change. The results indicate that upgrading process heaters have been a priority during recent years, but heat recovery and advanced process control systems will gradually begin to dominate the technological marketplace in the long term. Current technology policies will result in approximately 2.7 × 108 GJ of energy savings by 2020, keeping the average energy consumption of refineries within 57 kg oil equivalent (kgoe)/t-feed. If a cap-and-trade scheme is introduced in the future, a further reduction of up to 10% can be achieved. Various specific barriers that impede the realization of potential goals are also addressed in this study.

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