Petroleum is also referred as Black Gold because during the extraction it is black in color and due to its worth people refer it as gold. It is also a non-renewable fossil fuel making it more crucial. Petroleum is indispensable as it is a major energy source across the global and also has a major influence on the global economy. The processes and systems in this industries are complex, capital intensive and requires leading-edge technology. The various processes of the oil and gas industry are divided into various segments according to their activities. The first segment is the exploration and the extraction stage of oil field which comes under the upstream sector. The crude oil obtained after extraction is assessed using crude assay.
What is Crude Assay?
Crude assay is the chemical evaluation of crude oil feedstock. It consists of data on properties and composition of crude oils. Major specifications includes:
API gravity Vanadium (ppm)
Total Sulphur (%w/w) Total Nitrogen (ppm)
Pour point (°C) Total acid number
Viscosity Distillation data
Nickel (ppm) Characterization factor KUOP or KW
The characterization factor could be classified as
• Paraffinic (KW = 11 – 12.9)
• Naphthenic (KW = 10 – 11)
• Aromatic (KW <10)
Crude Assay is an important evaluation process for crude oil. Now let us get a brief about the refining process in brief:
Refining process and its stages
The refining process is a downstream activity. It is one the most important part of the oil and gas industry. Its function is to refine the raw crude oil and produce highly refined products such as gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, kerosene, LPG, etc. Refining process is broadly classified into the separation stage, conversion stage and finishing stage. There are various processes under each stage of refining. One of the process involved in the refining process is aromatic extraction.
What is Aromatic Extraction?
Aromatic hydrocarbons are an important series of hydrocarbons found in almost every petroleum mixture. They are cyclic but unsaturated hydrocarbons with alternating double bonds. In refineries a crude oil undergoes various processes for conversion as well as for the upgradation of oil. Refineries uses reformates as feedstock and extracts the aromatics from them. The reformate stream is rich in aromatics with light paraffin and light naphthene impurities. Most of these impurities are removed overhead in the aromatics fractionation section and the rest flow out in the bottom product stream to the benzene column and goes into further units. These products are then separated into pure benzene, toluene, and xylene at the BTX (Benzene-Toulene-Xylene) unit. BTX is then processed for production of wide range of chemicals from solvents, to fibers, films, and plastics.
Challenges faced in aromatic extraction process
There are a very large number of petrochemicals produced from the BTX aromatics. The fractionation of aromatics has various challenges. One of them is foaming and fouling. Solid particulates causes foaming, resulting in a reduction in flow and costly foaming inhibitors being used to regain control. The foaming and fouling in distillation towers, heat exchangers, and other equipment decreases the efficiency of their operation.
BTX’s products need an optimal filtration solution to remove contaminants in order to meet quality standards. With a long experience in handling such feedstock’s, Filter-Concept have designed an optimal filtration solution that will help in providing maximum filtration efficiency. For a video illustration do follow our video-series at https://filter- concept.com/video-series/ .
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