Project Synopsis

Provide lead process engineering services for the OSBL portions of a refinery revamp designed to support the restart and major modifications for the production of biodiesel.

Project Summary

Process Engineering International, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted by a traditional oil refinery in North America, to act as the OSBL Team Lead for revamping of the existing refinery.  The revamp activities (restarting a hydrogen reformer unit, a diesel hydrotreater, an isomerization unit, and OSBL terminal) allow the facility to process vegetable oils and tallow as feedstock to produce renewable distillate fuels.  In the new configuration, the vegetable oil is first hydrogenated to denitrify and deoxygenate the feedstock using a proprietary catalyst.  The oil is then fed to a modified “standard” hydrotreater and modified isomer unit to manage the resulting material balance changes relative to high sulfur distillate fuels typically run in normal refineries.

PROCESS prepared a plan to build out generic renewable fuels plants using modified refinery unit operations.  The catalyst formulation can be adjusted to provide more molecular water reduction/isomerization to convert heavier molecules (C16+) to octane (C8) molecules.  Catalyst vendors are used to provide the specialty portions of the heat and material balances around their technology but PROCESS prepared the process designs for all other equipment.

For this project, PROCESS also reviewed the existing refinery equipment to determine which equipment could be reused in the new service, the equipment to be demonstrated, the equipment to be revamped, and any new equipment that was required.

PROCESS prepared process information packages for all non-proprietary P&IDs while leaving technology packages to others.  Deliverables also included OSBL packages that contained the following information:

  • Marked-up P&IDs with new flow paths
  • Tie-in points
  • Line lists
  • Equipment lists
  • Blind list
  • Modifications scope description
  • Block Flow Diagrams.

In addition, PROCESS also prepared an Oil Movement Block Diagram.

Industry Type

Large Scale Biodiesel Production


Utilized Skills

  • Process revamp
  • Production facility restart support
  • OSBL process systems design.

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