Refinery Revamp To Produce Biodiesel

Refinery Revamp To Produce Biodiesel

Process Engineering International, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted by a traditional oil refinery to act as the OSBL Process Engineering Team Lead for revamping of the existing refinery.  The revamp activities included restarting a hydrogen reformer unit, a diesel hydrotreater, an isomerization unit, and OSBL terminal interconnects to allow the facility to process vegetable oils and tallow as feedstock to produce renewable distillate fuels.  In the new configuration, the vegetable oil is first hydrogenated to denitrify and deoxygenate the feedstock using a proprietary catalyst.  The oil is then fed to a modified “standard” hydrotreater and isomer unit with modifications made to manage the resulting material balance changes relative to high sulfur distillate fuels typically run in normal refineries.

PROCESS prepared a plan to build out the generic renewable fuels plants using modified refinery unit operations. The catalyst formulation is able to be adjusted to provide more molecular water reduction/isomerization to convert heavier molecules (C16+) to octane (C8) molecules.  Catalyst vendors are used to provide the specialty portions of the heat and material balances around their technology, but PROCESS is able to prepare process designs for all other equipment.

For this project, PROCESS also reviewed the existing refinery equipment to determine which equipment could be reused in the new service, the equipment to be scrapped, the equipment to be revamped, and any new equipment that was required.  

PROCESS prepared process packages for all non-proprietary areas while leaving technology packages to others.  Deliverables included OSBL packages that contained the following information:

  • Cover Page
  • Marked-Up P&IDs with New Flow Paths
  • Tie-In points
  • Line Lists
  • Equipment Lists
  • Blind List
  • Change Scope
  • Block Flow Diagram

In addition, PROCESS prepared an Oil Movement Block Diagram.