Energy costs represent significant parts of the total operating costs of crude refining industries. Energy integration is a typical solution to reduce heating and cooling utilities in crude refining plants through maximizing the target temperature of crude oil streams before entering the furnace. Over the past few decades, a significant progress has been made in energy integration methods including Pinch technology and mathematical programming approaches. Example of these is a graphical technique which plots Thot versus Tcold for energy analysis and revamping studies. The current research employs the Thot - Tcold diagrams in an algorithm to retrofit an existing crude atmospheric distillation unit (CDU) located in north of Egypt (Suez region). This real CDU unit is operated under two different operational modes: (i) without naphtha stabilizer; the process reformer is in operation to reform all naphtha streams without stabilization, and (ii) with naphtha stabilizer; LPG is separated from naphtha stream. The performance of the current HEN is analyzed using the graphical axes of Thot - Tcold diagrams. The graphical method is used to identify exchangers across the Pinch and recognize the potential modifications to improve the energy performance and reduce fuel consumption. Implementing the graphical identified modifications on the existing plant resulted in: (1) stabilizer scenario; energy savings are achieved by 21.1% with additional capital investment of 0.81 MM$ and annual energy savings of 0.82 M$, (2) reformer scenario; the energy savings are 0.42 MM$ with capital investment of 0.33 M$.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

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Open Access

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Article - Journal

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Publication Date

01 Jan 2022