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The refinement of crude oil
Whether jet fuel, plastic bags, fiberglass boats or car tires, all of these achievements of modern times would have been inconceivable without oil. However, a long sequence of conversion steps is required to achieve the finished products. At the beginning of this chain is processing of the crude oil in refineries.
The most important processes and procedures are cracking, steam reforming and the production of aromatic compounds. In different processing stages, fuels and lubricants are produced as well as feedstock materials are used by the chemical industry.
Most chemical products are composed of approximately 300 basic chemicals. Today up to 90 percent of these molecular compounds are extracted from crude oil and natural gas.
The business of the petrochemical industry is dominated by a few global players, which process the supplied crude oil in several fractions and then store the processed substances prior to passing them on to the consumer or reselling them for processing purposes.
Petrochemistry is a bulk business! This means that the output is huge, but the number of processes, which are the same worldwide, is rather low. Therefore, groups and corporations have standardized their procedures and processes to a very high degree and implemented their own safety rules and regulations.
The aim is to identify the main toxic and explosive substances arising during operations at an early stage thus reliably protecting man, environment and equipment. Special safety requirements have to be considered in times of shutdowns which are carried out on a regular basis.
Whether flammable gases or toxic substances, transport or storage, detection of leakage points or emission checks and controls of the environment on site, Dräger gas and fire detectors ensure that no occurrence or escape of harmful and noxious substances goes undetected.
It is no surprise that operators of refineries on all continents rely on Dräger solutions – some for several decades.
Processing - Safety for man, while protecting environment and equipment
Cleaning – Distilling – Converting: in refineries these three processes utilized to produce main products from crude oil, whereby the majority of the production is diesel, domestic fuel oil and gasolines.
From raw material to the finished product: storage technology based on highest safety standards
Day and night shifts: Refineries are operated 24/7. In a continuous flow, supplied commodity is stored, processed, stored again and then transported. Pressure, cooling and atmospheric tanks are used for storage of the different gases and liquids.
Revision and maintenance
Usually, downtime means stopping of operations: however, shutdowns of refineries for maintenance, servicing or repair purposes means additional work for all involved. In view of the very costly production losses, downtimes must be reduced to a minimum.
More than a matter of duty: safety management
At the premises there is a rotten-egg odor spreading – escape of toxic, highly flammable hydrogen sulfide! Fortunately, this happens only once in a blue moon. However, staff and local residents can feel at ease if there is a proper safety management program for such cases. Safety management is absolutely essential for refineries and other petrochemical plants.