Optimization of jet fuel production in conjunction with adapting to new heating oil regulatory requirements

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of New Brunswick
The objective of this project is to produce a feasible solution which will lead to the optimization of the production of jet fuel while also adapting heating oil production to follow the new US Environmental Protection Agency sulphur content regulations (< 15 ppm) in the United States northeast for the Irving Oil refinery. The Irving Oil refinery is the largest oil refinery in Canada with a production capacity of 320,000 USBPD, and is located in Saint John, New Brunswick. The objective stated above was accomplished by revamping the current caustic mercaptan oxidation process to the caustic-free mercaptan oxidation process and by adding a new desulphurization process, S Zorb. Raw crude oil is the main feedstock for both processes and will be sourced from various parts of the world The mercaptan oxidation process is only able to refine light types of crude oil into jet fuel. Since this process is utilized to produce a value added product, jet fuel, it was important to optimize the production in order to maintain economic viability. The S Zorb process will be removing sulphur from the crude distillates to meet the new sulphur regulation of < 15 ppm. The production of the mercaptan oxidation unit and S Zorb unit were calculated to be 22,110 USBPD and 41,140 USBPD respectively. One of the major benefits of the S Zorb process is the drastic reduction of hydrogen required to achieve desulphurization in comparison to other desulphurization processes. The caustic-free mercaptan oxidation process alleviates some of the emulsion problems that face the caustic mercaptan oxidation process allowing it to run for longer periods of time without maintenance. The longevity associated with the caustic-free mercaptan oxidation unit will reduce maintenance costs. Other benefits include a reduction in the quantity of waste and lower cost feed additives. The optimal configuration which met the projects desired objectives was a combination of a revamp to the current mercaptan oxidation unit and a new S Zorb unit. The S Zorb and caustic-free mercaptan oxidation revamp result in an internal rate of return of 117% coupled with a pay-back period of 0.9 years. The caustic-free mercaptan oxidation revamp is highly cost effective as it recycles the existing vessels and infrastructure currently employed by the caustic mercaptan oxidation unit. After completing a sensitivity analysis, it was found that the internal rate of return of the caustic-free mercaptan oxidation process and the S Zorb process is most affected by the gap between feedstock purchase cost and product sale prices.