PTQ Q1 2023 Issue

Reduce emissions and improve refinery profitability

Tools and solutions for the naphtha complex and beyond

J Mark Houdek, Pankaj K Singh, Srinivasan Ramanujam and Ian Clarke Honeywell UOP

T oday, refineries and petrochemical facilities across the globe are faced with the challenges of doing more while consuming and emitting less. Each facility is unique, and the ultimate collection of solutions employed to meet the goals and timelines will be different. But there are tools – such as efficiency-oriented idea workshops and emission reduction roadmaps – that can be used across these facilities, new and existing, to ensure projects and investments are cost effective and focused on each company’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals. The Six Efficiencies (E6) At Honeywell UOP, the focus is on the Six Efficiencies, or E6 model (see Figure 1 ). 1 By paying specific attention to these items, we are developing and delivering solutions directed at environmental and societal requirements while improving economic return for our refining and petrochemi- cal customers. The Six Efficiencies are: • Carbon – Maximising value from each barrel of crude to go from feed to product as efficiently as possible. Too often, as engineers, we love taking one molecule to make another. But just because we can does not mean we should, espe- cially if it is inefficient. • Hydrogen – Balancing and utilising the hydrogen inher- ent in the feedstocks to minimise the production of on-pur- pose hydrogen and avoid the emissions it would generate. Put hydrogen on and take hydrogen off to do good things but do it as infrequently as possible. • Utilities – Striving for lowest energy usage and cost per ton of product produced. • Emissions – Striving for the smallest emissions footprint for the entire process portfolio or project scope. • Water – Treating water as a scarce resource because it is. Some geographies are extremely stressed in this aspect, and we need to minimise new water consumption regard- less of source. • Capital – Measuring capital efficiency by variables such as Internal Rate of Return (IRR), Net Present Value (NPV), and/or Debt Coverage Ratio (DCR). Projects must be bank- able, or they simply are not projects. Historical benchmarking is a lagging indicator that looks at how facilities are performing compared to expecta- tions. However, the E6 framework is forward looking. It is

Carbon Putting the right molecules in the right place


Utilities Doing more with less

Hydrogen Optimi si ng the sources and uses




Driving for the most bankable project

Water Treated as a scarce resource

Emissions Providing for a better tomorrow



Figure 1 Efficiency metrics for business alignment on all levels

a planning tool to help refining and petrochemical facilities make investment decisions that position themselves bet- ter compared to historical benchmarking or considering the next best alternative. As technology and the industry progresses, the Six Efficiencies for any investment being considered are now put up against these advanced benchmarks. It is no longer good enough for a project merely to be equal to previous generations. The E6 model looks at the entire complex or even the full set of corporate-owned production assets, considering cur- rent operations and future investments. Benchmarking on an individual technology or process unit can be done, but for most organisations this evaluation should be much bigger. It should consider all variables, so all degrees of freedom are being utilised to ensure overall performance in keeping with the corporation’s objectives and values. Figure 2 illustrates how each efficiency is benchmarked when considering a new petrochemical facility. Any pro- posed or considered solutions are evaluated to understand if the changes will bring improvements or not. These kinds of evaluations are critical since some aspects might be more important and worth a trade-off. Four pillars for reducing emissions Embarking on a journey to reduce emissions while improv- ing profitability often raises various possible tactics to


PTQ Q1 2023

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