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Title: Retrofit design of heat integrated crude oil distillation systems
Author: Gadalla, Mamdouh Ayad
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 9531
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2003
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Heat-integrated crude oil distillation systems are energy and capital intensive, and have a very complex structure with strong interactions between the individual units. Retrofit of these systems is of major interest to petroleum refiners. Retrofit objectives are various and preferably achieved with minimum capital expenditure, while equipment constraints are met. Traditional approaches to retrofit design of crude oil distillation systems identify promising modifications based on experience or pinch analysis. Later, sequential approaches to retrofit design were developed, in which distillation and heat recovery units are modified individually. Recent approaches considered simultaneously the distillation column and heat integration targets, rather than the existing heat recovery system. That shortcut models for retrofit design of distillation columns are not available is an additional limitation of established methodologies. In this thesis, a new approach is presented for retrofit design of heat-integrated crude oil distillation systems. Shortcut models are developed for distillation retrofit, including reboiled and steam-stripped columns. These models are based on the Underwood equation and are appropriate for retrofit design of simple columns and various complex column arrangements. Models are also proposed for exchanger network retrofit, addition of new columns to the existing distillation unit, modifying column internals, enhancing heat transfer in exchanger tubes and for evaluating CO2 emissions in existing crude oil distillation units. The retrofit design methodology is optimisation-based, and considers the existing distillation process simultaneously with the details of the associated heat recovery system. Existing equipment limitations, such as the hydraulic capacity of the distillation column, exchanger network pressure drop and bottlenecked exchangers, are accounted for. The approach considers various structural modifications and design options resulting in significant benefits. Examples of these are the installation of preflash and prefractionator units to the existing column configuration, replacement of column internals with packing, enhancement of exchanger heat transfer and integration of a gas turbine with an existing furnace. The optimisation framework comprises column and exchanger network retrofit models, cost models and suitable objective functions. The approach optimises all operating conditions of the existing distillation process and any new columns to minimise or maximise a specified objective function, while satisfying existing constraints. The objective function is flexible and varies according to retrofit objectives. Several objectives are taken into account, such as reducing energy consumption and overall cost, increasing capacity, improving profit and reducing CO2 emissions. The approach allows these objectives to be met by considering several design alternatives. The new retrofit approach is applied to different industrial cases of crude oil distillation units, for energy and total cost savings, throughput enhancement, product yield changes, profit increase and emissions reduction. Typical results conclude that retrofit goals can be achieved with substantial savings in energy and total cost, and improved profit with minimal capital investment.
Supervisor: Smith, Robin ; Jobson, Megan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Heat Integrated Crude Oil Distillation Systems