Steam Network Optimization by Utilizing Biomass and Solar Energy Sources in an Oil Refinery

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M. Hassan Panjeshahi, Lena Ahmadi and Simon Perry

29.1 Introduction

Greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions from fossil fuel combustion in industrial processes contribute significantly to global warming. A reduction in GHG emissions can only be achieved by a conversion to renewable energy sources and a simultaneous increase in energy efficiency; therefore, the application of renewable energies for evaluating the site utility systems and environmental aspects should be considered. Site utility systems involve complex interactions. For improving the systems, a structured approach is needed. Steam generators are important components of site utility systems that affect the thermal performance of chemical and petrochemical industry processes.

In an oil refinery, steam is available at different pressures and temperatures. Some processes use steam while others generate steam. There are interactions between the processes and the utility system via steam use and generation. There are also interactions between the processes on the site through the steam mains (Smith, 2005). Heat demands of the plant for generating steam are generally extremely high. The steam is usually supplied by two sources, the boiler station and the power plant which are generally fed by fossil fuels. However, using these conventional fuels is not a long-term and proper option due to the importance of global warming problem and energy crisis. Several policies are proposed to limit net GHG emissions. A key example is the Kyoto Protocol. Each country's emissions target must be achieved by the period 2008-2012. For example, industrialized countries have committed to cut their combined emissions to 5% below 1990 levels by 2008-2012. The three main gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O).

To overcome the above drawbacks, renewable energies can be integrated into plant for generating steam. Renewable energy offers important potential benefits. Solar energy as the abundant resource has a viable option for consumption

I. Dincer et al. (eds.), Global Warming, Green Energy and Technology,

DOI 10.1007/978-1-4419-1017-2_29, © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

that can free up larger quantities of oil. Moreover, there is growing recognition that alternative use offers environmental benefits in the form of reduced air pollution and emissions of GHG. Because of the concern over global warming, there is considerable worldwide interest in increased utilization of renewable energy sources, including biomass fuels. Biomass not only has considerable potential as a fuel source, it also shows a reasonable cost level in comparison to other renewable energies (Gera et al., 2002). It can be regarded as a local energy source with ecological and regional contributions (Urban et al., 2007). Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) as the proper fuel can be used. Also in the country, the related government organization pays $12 per ton to the refinery for the bought MSW because of solving the accumulation problem of the garbage. This will decrease the operational costs.

In this chapter, renewable energies are studied for generating steam in the Tehran Oil Refinery by a modern method based on pinch technology. Pinch Technology is a methodology comprising a set of structured techniques for systematic application of the first and some aspects of second laws of thermodynamics. The application of these techniques enables process engineers to gain fundamental insight into the thermal interactions between chemical processes and the utility systems that surround them (Polley and Panjeshahi, 1991). To achieve this aim turbine hardware model, boiler hardware model, and related balances on system components are investigated. The sustainable energies, solar, and biomass are then replaced considering the steam levels properties such as temperatures and pressures. To accomplish the feasible replacement, integration techniques are applied. Simulation and optimization are organized at STAR environment and related coding is done at MATLAB 7.3.

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Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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