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Green House Gas Emissions

in Refineries and its

Mitigation Measures
K C Dutta, GM(S&EP),IOCL

Effect of Green House Gases in Atmosphere

Greenhouse gases are mainly carbon dioxide, methane & nitrous oxide.
There are other GHGs like perflourocarbons , hydroflourocarbons &
sulphur hexaflourides which have less in concentration in atmosphere but
have high global warming potentials.
Ever since the Industrial Revolution began about 150 years ago, man-made
activities have added significant quantities of GHGs emissions to
the atmosphere.
The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous
oxide have grown by about 31%,15% and 17% respectively, between 1750
and 2000.
Concentration of CO2 has increased from 313 ppm in 1960 and has reached
a level of 387 ppm in March,2009. The critical max concentration is 450 ppm
when there is more likelihood of environmental disasters.
GHG build up in the atmosphere is growing faster in the last two decades
causing rapid rise of global temperature .
Measurement records indicate that global average warming by 0.6 C has
already taken place since 1860.
Over the next hundred years, the earth's surface temperature is projected to
increase by 5.8 C which will be greater than that experienced over the last
10,000 years.
Of the various GHGs, it has been established that carbon dioxide is
responsible for over 60% of the "enhanced greenhouse effect".

Global Heating & Cooling cycle

Global temperature in last 30 yrs

The possible causes under scientific evaluation are:

Axis displacement of the Earth

Gas emissions from transports and industries

The combination of all three is considered the most likely cause.

The previsions are:
Rise of the oceans water level
Endangering of some species
Loss of crops due to climate change and acid rain
Climate changes rapidly
Increase of natural disasters
Cattle losses
Health issues

The possible solutions presented by scientists and international organizations for slowing
down the process, are:
Drastic reduction of gas emissions through reduction of industrial emissions and reduction in the
use of fossil fuels
Drastic reduction of deforestation
Public education on environmental issues
Research on alternative sources of energy
Research on possible means of reversing the process

Emissions from Fossil Carbon Sources

Major GHG emitters in the world

Following is a table showing the world's top 20 emitters of the greenhouse gases that
help drive climate change, ranked by millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent
per annum.
1 US
6,033 6,928 7,074
2 China
3,750 4,938
3 Russia
3,047 1,952
4 India
1,339 1,884
5 Japan
1,205 1,317
6 Germany
1,199 1,009
7 Brazil
8 Canada
9 Britain
10 Italy
11 South Korea 291
12 France
13 Mexico
14 Indonesia
15 Australia
16 Ukraine
17 South Africa 356
18 Iran
19 Spain
20 Poland

International oil and gas companies

GHG emissions

International oil and gas companies

R&D efforts

In 2004, BP launched a CO2 capture and storage project in the In Salah gas
field in the Algeria desert. Approximately 10 percent of the gas in the
reservoir consists of CO2 . Rather than venting it to the atmosphere, BP
compressed and injected it in wells 1,800 meters deep. About one million
tons of a CO2 will be injected every year, reducing greenhouse gas
emissions by the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off the roads.

BP, ConocoPhillips, and Shell are participating in a project that would

convert natural gas to hydrogen and carbon dioxide, then use the
hydrogen gas as fuel for a 350MW power station and export the carbon
dioxide to a North Sea oil reservoir for increased oil recovery and ultimate

BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell are testing hundreds of fuel cell cars
and buses and building hydrogen refueling stations to prepare for the
commercialization of fuel cell vehicles.

ExxonMobil has been developing technology to produce hydrogen on

vehicles from conventional fuels, which would avoid huge hydrogen
infrastructure costs. It is estimated that this technology can halve less
greenhouse gas emissions compared with conventional vehicle

Petroleum GHG emissions

International Energy
Agency (IEA) estimates
that on an average about
10% of petroleum related
GHG emissions are from
oil Industry operations
(Exploration, production,
refining and distribution)

Refining Sector - GHG emissions

Direct GHG emissions are the Stationary Combustion sources

comprised of direct-fired heaters, boilers, flares and other sources,

Vented sources such as process vents, storage tank losses,

equipment venting from maintenance/turnaround events

Fugitive sources such as equipment component losses, wastewater

treatment, and cooling towers.

Indirect GHG emissions are Indirect emissions from energy imports,

or include electricity consumption from power imported from the grid or
a third party supplier.

Other Indirect GHG emissions are Crude loading , ballasting ,

feedstock and product transport, Off-site catalyst regeneration, Off-site
waste disposal/landfill operations.

Sources of CO2 emissions

By Fuel

Fuel Gas
Residual oil
FCC coke
Natural Gas
As a fuel
As a feedstock to hydrogen unit

Re-gassed LPG

By Application
Process heaters
To heat feeds to process units

Generate steam for process heat, distillation and
electricity generation via steam turbines

Gas turbines
To drive compressors and electric generators


Understanding Carbon Management

Carbon footprint & carbon management have entered the major focus
area of the government and organizations around the world.
More and more companies are in quest of environmentally friendly
solutions as socially responsible enterprise and by going low carbon
and at the same time to boost the bottom line.
Companies are increasingly aware of climate change issues and its
relevancy to their business. They want to understand their carbon
footprint and implement a low carbon strategy.
Leading companies recognize that there are often compelling business
reasons to take voluntary actions on reducing emissions of green house
India ranks fourth in the world in terms of annual GHG emissions and is
responsible for nearly 3.6 % of world emissions . Today, India has no
GHG reduction obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.
However, the Prime Minister of India had recently revealed the
National Action Plan on Climate Change, which sets out to
concretize and implement the countrys strategy to both mitigate and
adapt to inevitable climate change.

This initiative by the government emphasizes on the ethical aspects of business

by initially making it voluntary and later may be mandatory for companies to
reduce their carbon footprint and create a cleaner and sustainable future.

Once the key components of an organizations corporate sustainability program

are defined ( e.g. energy consumption , GHG emission , water usage, recycling
etc. ) then the company to look across their value chain to evaluate and select
the appropriate starting points that will maximize business , as well as provide
opportunities to communicate performance improvements that will enhance the
organizations image and brand value in the marketplace.

IndianOil as a progressive organization has already developed a broad

sustainability framework with a triple bottom line concept of People-Planet Profit with the objective of helping meet the growing energy needs of the
Nation in economically, environmentally and socially responsible ways.

Refineries Division , in line with the above perspectives has initiated actions
for assessment of GHG inventories at refineries , evaluate carbon footprint and
formulate strategies to reduce carbon footprint in a cost effective way to
eventually become Carbon Neutral.

Action Plan for reduction of

Carbon Foot Print for Industrial,
Commercial and Residential
activities in Refineries Division

GHG Reduction
Opportunities in
( Study carried out by M/S PWC )

Refining emissions
Haldia, Vadodara and Mathura Refineries

Direct Emissions IOCL refineries

GHG Emission Inventory Haldia Refinery ( 2007-08)

GHG Emissions Inventory: For FY 2007-08


Emission source
GHG emissions (MT CO2e/Yr)
A. Direct Emissions
Stationary combustion - at Process Units
Stationary combustion - at Captive Power Plant
Process Emissions/ venting
Total direct emissions (A)
B. Indirect Emissions
Emissions through imported power
Indirect emissions thru imports of energy (B) 14793
Total GHG Inventory (A+B)


GHG Emission Inventory : For FY 2007-08

Emission source
1 GHG Inventory (Million MT CO2e/Yr)
2 Actual Crude processed (Million MT/Yr)
GHG Footprint (MT CO2e/MT Crude processed)


GHG Emission Inventory Gujarat Refinery ( 2007-08)

Summary of GHG emissions - IOCL Gujarat Refinery
GHG Emissions Inventory: For FY 2007-08


Emission source
GHG emissions (MT CO2e/Yr)
A. Direct Emissions
Stationary combustion - at Process Units
Stationary combustion - at Captive Power Plant
Process Emissions/ venting
Total direct emissions (A)
B. Indirect Emissions
1 Emissions thru imported power
Indirect emissions thru imports of energy (B) 0
Total GHG Inventory (A+B)

GHG Footprint estimation: For FY 2007-08

1 GHG Inventory (Million MT CO2e/Yr)
2 Actual Crude processed (Million MT/Yr)
GHG Footprint (MT CO2e/MT Crude processed)


GHG Emission Inventory Mathura Refinery ( 2007-08)

Summary of GHG emissions - IOCLMathura Refinery
GHG Emissions Inventory: For FY 2007-08


Emission source
GHG emissions (MT CO2e/Yr)
A. Direct Emissions
Stationary combustion - at Process Units
Stationary combustion - at Captive Power Plant
Process Emissions/ venting
Total direct emissions (A)

B. Indirect Emissions
Emissions thru imported power
Indirect emissions thru imports of energy (B) 2473
Total GHG Inventory (A+B)


GHG Footprint: For FY 2007-08




GHG Inventory (Million MT CO2e/Yr)

Actual Crude processed (Million MT/Yr)
GHG Footprint (MT CO2e/MT Crude processed)



Carbon Footprint
Haldia,Vadodara and Mathura refineries

Mitigation measures focus

Steam generation system
Steam distribution system
Captive power plant

Heat exchangers and

process integration
Pumping system
Hydrogen recovery
Flare gas recovery
Power recovery
Lighting controls and
Compressors, Fans and
Crude distillation unit
Vacuum distillation unit
Fluid catalytic cracking
Catalytic reforming

CDM projects in Refineries

While reduction of carbon foot print is essential and it could be possible with
implementation of projects with substantial investments .

Part of investments may be recovered through CDM benefits which are available
under Kyoto Protocol.

So far 4 projects in refineries got registered with UNFCCC having CER of 48000.
One project of Guwahati refinery is under consideration of UNFCCC . Two more
projects one at Haldia & one at Mathura are in the process of validation. With
these projects the total CER generation would be about 80000.

Each refinery have selected few new CDM projects which are under scrutiny .
More number of such projects to be identified by refineries while going for Carbon
Neutrality. One major area is mega Projects where CDM benefits may be derived
from those projects which have GHG reduction potential and do not qualify as
business as usual.

The list of different types of ENCON projects which may be adopted by refineries
are listed. Refineries are adopting the same as per its suitability.

GHG Reduction Opportunities in Commercial

Set up / Activities

Initiatives to mitigate carbon footprint of the commercial set ups like office
complexes, community centers , travelling etc. and increase energy
efficiency to reduce electricity demand. Some of them are :
Increasing energy efficiency in offices, auto switch off of power after few
minutes if not occupying the office.
Replacing face to face meetings with video conferencing/web solutions to
reduce travel thereby reducing individual and companys carbon footprint.
Generate less waste and to recycle waste to conserve energy.
Selecting building locations for optimization of transportation.
Construction of high energy efficiency green building using solar power.
Increasing telecommunicating as way of life rather than personal visits.
Use of mass transit benefits rather than using personal transport and
bike/bicycling to work culture.
Extensive use of Solar and Wind power. Conservation of resources.
Training program for the employees to develop the habit of increasing their
environmentally friendly activities at work and at home.

GHG Reduction Opportunities in Township


Assessment of GHG inventories in the township for baseline data and

develop an action plan for reduction.
Use of solar heater in place of greaser in quarters.
Use of vacuum cleaning toilets & auto cut off water taps to reduce water
Replacement of conventional bulbs with CFL bulbs or LED lights.
Conservation of water resources by reducing wasteful practices.
Monitoring of GHG inventories regularly for taking corrective actions.
Auto power cut off in residential quarters in the morning.
Take up massive tree plantation program as carbon sequestration project
for offsetting carbon footprint.
To avoid generation of methane gas from waste and mercy land in and
around the township by proper treatment and disposal of waste.
To generate organic manure from bio degradable wastes from townships/
canteens in stead of transportation to long distances.

Future Strategies
Development of policy and strategy for climate protection
GHG accounting Adoption of ISO 14064 Standards
Carbon management and carbon disclosure in the
company balance sheet
Development of strategic management of climate risk and
business opportunity thereof
Incorporation of carbon efficiency in all long term capital
intensive projects.
Making capital investment carbon smart.


GHG Emission accounting

Mitigation Measures for bridging Gaps
Aim towards Carbon Management and policy
development in areas of mitigation and adaptation.

Long term strategy for Carbon Neutral

It is a fact that without purchasing carbon credits it will be difficult to
neutralize carbon foot print of refineries in the long run. So strategy
has to be developed for looking into such opportunity in the world
carbon market. The following actions may be considered for fully
mitigating carbon footprint .

Purchase of high quality carbon offsets from National/International


To invest in various carbon offset projects in India and abroad

To invest more in renewable energy projects like Wind,Solar & Biofuel

To go for large scale tree plantation in association with Govt./Army

To adopt projects for Carbon Capture and Storage( CCS) technology

in association with upstream oil companies

Road Map for Carbon Neutrality for Refineries


For Refineries:
- Preparation of GHG inventories of all refineries by Dec10
- Finalization of GHG mitigation plan in phases Ongoing
- Implementation of 1st phase of carbon reduction projects
and achieve 20% reduction by Dec. 2015
- To implement 2nd phase of projects for further reduction of
20% by 2020
- To implement 3rd phase of projects for further 20 %
reduction by 2025
- To become fully carbon neutral by 2030

Road map for carbon neutrality

For Commercial activities/Support services:

- Assessment of GHG inventory in the support services including
transports , canteen , contract activities and office complexes.
- Preparation of mitigation plan by June, 2010
- Approval of various mitigation plan by October, 2010
- 20 % reduction of GHG by Dec ,2012
- Next 20 % mitigation by 2016
- Next 20 % reduction by 2020
- To become fully carbon by 2025

For Township:

To prepare carbon reduction plan by June, 2010

To obtain approval of the mitigation plan by Dec.2010
To achieve 30 % reduction by 2014
To achieve next 30 % reduction by 2018
To become fully carbon neutral by 2025

Final solution


Mitigation Measures
Steam Generation system
a) Arresting air ingress. Close monitoring of excess air
c) Installation of improved refractories/ insulation
d) Use of thermal coating/paints to reduce heat loss
e) Overhauling of inlet air dampers / draft contolling damper as in operation many times it is found
to be stuck in remain position and hence loss in efficiency
f) Installation of Variable frequency drives in Fans , blower and pumps.
g) Operate boiler/ furnace on appropriate draft, many times due to ease in operation people tends
to operate at lower draft ie higher pressure which leads to reduction in efficiency
h) Heat Recovery from flue gases, options of installting APH or extra tubes in convection bank
can be explored keeping acid dew point consideration
i) Installation of low NOx burners
j) Explore possibility of converting Natural draft heaters to induced/forced/balanced draft for heat
k) Close monitoring plan of critical parameters & efficiency will help in maintaing efficiency closer
to design values.
l) Maintain appropriate de-aerator pressure to reduce flue gas losses.
m) Reduction of Scaling and Soot Losses
n) Recovery of condensate & blowdown, from process plants & CPP and optimization of its
usage. (Using LLP steam for Vapour absorption refregeration system etc)
o) Reduce Standby Losses. Proper Boiler Scheduling
q) Proactive / preventive Maintenance leads to better energy efficiency.
r) Close Monitoring of Steam and power balance to reduce steam venting, Minimization of
PRDS/PRV usage and explore possibility of installing turbo expander.
s) Reduction in heat losses in blowdown by installing restricted orifice as many of times valves are

Steam Distribution system

a) Steam trap monitoring plan, regular maintenance along with appropriate types of traps for
different applications. As in most of the refineries it is one of the most neglected area.
Huge (monetary) saving potential.
b) Insulation audit plan implementation, calculate and reduce heat losses through insulation.
use of appropriate type of insulation for different purpose, use economic thickness of
insulation. As fuel cost increases economic thickness can be increased.
c) Insulation at flanges and valves can be considered as in many refineries they are kept bare.
d) Checking and shutting off the excess/ unwanted steam distribution lines
e) Leak detection and repair in plant/instrument air system. Arresting of leakage leads to lower
discharge pressure requirement and hence lower power consumption of compressor.
Periodically monitoring is the key to success of this programme.
f) Install return Condensate recovery system / Use of Flash steam
Captive Power Plant
a) Close Monitoring of Steam and power balance at complex level to optimize Captive power
plant operation, based on incremental fuel requirement. ( Huge Saving Potential)
b) Close monitoring of Steam balance at complex level to explore the possibility of conversion
of condensing turbine to back pressure type where ever applicable.
c) Temperature monitoring at GT exhaust Bypass as on many occasions some of the flue gas
is passing through it. It may lead to increase in HRSG fuel combustion.
d) Inlet air chilling or inlet air fogging for GT.
f) Online water washing of GT blades.

Heat Exchangers and process integration

a) Regular maintenance and cleaning (mechanically or chemically) of heat exchangers reboilers
condensers etc.
b) Pinch anaysis or process integration to identify and correct the performance limiting constraint
(or pinch) in any manufacturing process for heat optimization.
c) Heat integration between process streams of two different units.
d) Total site pinch analysis
e) Use of plate type exchangers in place of conventional shell and tube type exchangers where
available approach is low.
f) Use of Innovative exchangers ( all helical, vertical , no baffles, packinox, plate etc)
g) Possibility of installing ratio controllers for steam to feed in reboilers.
h) Weekly monitoring of fouling trends ie overall U , approach temp of critical exchangers followed
by exchanger cleaning (online/offline) leads to significant energy saving.
a) Simulation and optimization of fractionator and other distillation columns at different process
units.( pumparounds, reflux etc) ie reduction in reboiler and condenser duties.
b) Check product purities from column and explore the possibility of reducing reflux.
c) Seasonal variation of operating pressures in column (e.g. Lower the pressure to take
advantage of lower cooling water temp in winter)
d) Upgrading coulmn internals (trays/packing) with new & efficient (high capacity) designs.
e) Simulation of strippers to optimize steam consumption.

Pumping System
a) Regular maintainance & replacement of worn out impellers
b) Precision Castings, Surface Coatings, Or Polishing, Internal coatings to reduce wear and tear
c) Use of EPANET software to reduce piping losses
d) Modify pumping system and pumps losses to minimize throttling.
e) Adapt to wide load variation with variable speed drives or sequenced control of multiple units.
f) Stop running multiple pumps - add an auto-start for an on-line spare or add a booster pump in
the problem area.
g) Use booster pumps for small loads requiring higher pressures.
h) Increase fluid temperature differentials to reduce pumping rates in case of heat exchangers.
i) Repair seals and packing to minimize water loss by dripping.
j) Conduct water balance to minimise water consumption.
k) In multiple pump operations carefully combine the operation of pumps to avoid throttling
l) Replace old pumps by energy efficient pumps
m) In the case of over designed pump, provide variable speed drive, or downsize / replace
impeller or replace with correct sized pump for efficient operation
n) Optimise number of stages in multi-stage pump in case of head margins
o)Reduce system resistance by pressure drop assessment and pipe size optimization
p) Curtailing Leakage Through Clearance Reduction
q) Correct size of pipes to reduce friction losses ( to avoid delta P losses)

Flare Gas Recovery

a) Improved process control equipment and new flaring technology
b) Development of gas- recovery systems
c) Development of new ignition systems with low-pilot-gas consumption, or
elimination of pilots altogether with the use of new ballistic ignition systems.
Power Recovery
Explore possibility of putting Power recovery turbine in FCC regenerator flue gas
circuit , in Hydrocracker (pressure diff between Reactor and fractionator) and
high pressure hydro treater units (Diesel/VGO hydrotreater).
Hydrogen Management and Recovery
Reducing hydrogen plant load by optimizing hydrogen network thru pinch analysis
(wrt H2 purity, availability and requirements) and proper integration.
Hydrogen recovery from various offgas streams (hydrocracker, hydrotreaters, FCC,
Coker etc) by way of PSA / membrane technology
Lighting Controls
a) Replace Standard Metal Halide HID With High-Intensity Fluorescent Lights
b) Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) or Radium Lights.
c) Improving lighting system and control (by using CFLs, occupancy sensors, highefficiency fluorescent ballasts, natural light intensity sensors based street
d) Reduction in noload losses of transformers by switching off if running on very low
load and two other transformers are in line.

Compressors / Fans / Blowers

a) Installation of step less control for process compressors.
b) Ensure air intake to compressor is not warm and humid by locating compressors in
well ventilated area or by drawing cold air from outside. Every 4C rise in air inlet
temperature will increase power consumption by 1 percent.
c) Clean air-inlet filters regularly. Compressor efficiency will be reduced by 2 percent
for Every 250 mm WC pressure drop across the filter
d) Keep compressor valves in good condition by removing and inspecting once every
six months. Worn-out valves can reduce compressor efficiency by as much as 50
e) Install manometers across the filter and monitor the pressure drop as a guide to
replacement of element.
f) Minimize low-load compressor operation; if air demand is less than 50 percent of
compressor capacity, consider change over to a smaller compressor or reduce
compressor speed appropriately.
g) Consider the use of regenerative air dryers, which uses the heat of compressed air
to remove moisture.
h) Fouled inter-coolers reduce compressor efficiency and cause more water
condensation in air receivers and distribution lines resulting in increased
corrosion. Periodic cleaning of intercoolers must be ensured.
i) If more than one compressor is feeding to a common header, compressors must
be operated in such a way that only one small compressor should handle the load
variations whereas other compressors will operate at full load.
j) Reduce compressor delivery pressure, wherever possible, to save energy.
k) Provide extra air receivers at points of high cyclic-air demand which permits
operation without extra compressor capacity.

Compressors / Fans / Blowers

l) Retrofit with variable speed drives in big compressors, say over 100 kW, to eliminate the
unloaded' running condition altogether.
m) Keep the minimum possible range between load and unload pressure settings.
n) Automatic timer controlled drain traps wastes compressed air every time the valve opens.
So frequency of drainage should be optimized.
o) Check air compressor logs regularly for abnormal readings, especially motor current cooling
water flow and temperature, inter-stage and discharge pressures and temperatures and
compressor load-cycle.
p) Compressed air leakage of 40 50 percent is not uncommon. Carry out periodic leak tests
to estimate the quantity of leakage.
q) A smaller dedicated compressor can be installed at load point, located far off from the
central compressor house, instead of supplying air through lengthy pipelines.
r) Misuse of compressed air such as for body cleaning, agitation, general floor cleaning, and
other similar applications must be discouraged in order to save compressed air and energy.
s) On account of high pressure drop, ball or plug or gate valves are preferable over
globevalves in compressed air lines.
t) Minimising air in-leaks in hot flue gas path to reduce ID fan load, especially in case of boiler
plants, furnaces, etc. Cold air in-leaks increase ID fan load tremendously, due to density
increase of flue gases and in-fact choke up the capacity of fan,
u) Change of fan assembly as a whole, by a higher efficiency fan
v) Impeller de-rating (by a smaller dia impeller)
w) Change of metallic / Glass reinforced Plastic (GRP) impeller by the more energy efficient
hollow FRP impeller with aerofoil design, in case of axial flow fans, where significant
savings have been reported
x) Fan speed reduction by pulley dia modifications for derating
y) Option of two speed motors or variable speed drives for variable duty conditions
z) Adopting inlet guide vanes in place of discharge damper control

Plant Specific Mitigation Measures

Control of fouling in the crude preheat train and fired heater. Very general phenomenon in plant.
Improved heat integration between the atmospheric and vacuum towers.
Improved tray design and heat integration between trays, and optimization of the number of trays and
operating conditions for improved vapour-liquid contact and higher throughput.
Control of fouling in the fired heater.
Improved heat integration between the atmospheric and vacuum towers.
Improved tray design and heat integration between trays, and optimization of the number of trays and
operating conditions for improved vapour-liquid contact and higher throughput.
Implementation of advanced control
Monitor cooling tower closely for lower cooling water temperature and hence good operation of associated
overhead condenser.


Addition of power recovery turbine
Conversion of condensing turbine drive to electric motor drive or back pressure type if steam balance permits
( wet gas compressor)
Improved heat integration pinch analysis

Improved feed and interstage process heater performance ( e.g. Improved convection section heat recovery)
Replace horizontal feed/ effluent heat exchangers with vertical plate and frame exchangers
Additional process cooling to improve light ends recovery.
Improved equipment efficiency (e.g. Recycle and net gas compressor, reactor product air cooler)