Decarbonising the Oil Refinery Industry: CO2 Capture with a Molten Carbonate Electrochemical Membrane Integrated into a Natural Gas Reforming Process
4 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2019 Last revised: 25 Apr 2019
The CO2 emissions associated to the production of fossil fuels in oil refineries is generally estimated around 6% of the world CO2 emissions (i.e., 0.8 Gt/y). A typical 300,000 barrels per day refinery produces between 0.8 and 4.2 Mt/y of CO2. Modern petrol refineries are characterised by an incremental need of hydrogen, especially for catalytic conversion cycles with hydrocracking and for deep conversion cycles by means of hydro-conversion processes. In this study, a high temperature electrochemical system for CO2 capture is proposed to retrofit the flue gas stream of an existing Steam Methane Reforming plant rated at 100,000 Nm3/h of 99.5% pure H2, produced for a refinery. A thermodynamic analysis is carried out showing that a tenfold specific direct CO2 emissions reduction is achievable with the proposed system at the expense of increasing the natural gas input by approximately 37%. Moreover, an additional 16.7% of useful hydrogen is produced, allowing a synergistic integration of the proposed retrofit capture system with the refinery hydrogen production plant.
Keywords: Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell, Steam Methane Reforming, Retrofit, Carbon Capture and Storage, Hydrogen
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