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Title: Analysis and design of refinery hydrogen distribution systems
Author: Alves, Joa~o
ISNI:       0000 0004 2727 8395
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 1999
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Several trends are increasing the demand for hydrogen in oil refining. Increasingly strict environmental and product quality regulations, a shrinking market for high-sulphur fuel oils and the price benefit of processing heavier and more sour crude oils has pushed oil refiners to increase hydrocracking and hydrotreating capacity. The resulting increase in hydrogen consumption and limited or even decreased generation is creating tight hydrogen balances in many refineries throughout the world. The efficient use of hydrogen is a necessity, with refineries facing eroded margins due to constrained refinery operation or the need for significant investment in hydrogen generation and purification. This thesis addresses the problem of refinery hydrogen distribution. A systematic method for the analysis of hydrogen distribution systems is proposed based on the concept of hydrogen surplus. This method sets targets for the minimum flowrate of fresh hydrogen required by the refinery before any system design. The analysis method is used to identify the existence of bottlenecks in the hydrogen distribution system and also provides insights as to the benefit of installing hydrogen purification capacity. The thesis also presents a method for designing efficient hydrogen distribution systems. This method is based on the same concepts developed for the analysis method and uses linear programming (LP) to obtain the hydrogen network design solution. This method has the advantages of being simple to use, taking into account the major economic trade-offs in the hydrogen network design problem and generating hydrogen networks that can operate with the minimum flowrate of fresh hydrogen as identified using the analysis method. This design method is further extended using a set of shortcut models of hydroprocessing units that allow the LP design solution to be relaxed in order to accommodate topological features favoured by the designer or imposed by the existing hydrogen distribution system. These shortcut models also allow the simulation of the whole hydrogen distribution system. They can be used to help with data collection for an existing hydrogen network and can predict the impact of process modifications on a specific hydrogen network design.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available