In this work, the systematic integration of bio-refineries within oil refineries is considered. This is particularly relevant due to the lack of adaptation of existing refineries to diminishing oil supply. Moreover, the integration of oil and bio-refineries has a massively positive effect on the reduction of CO2 emissions. For instance, the biodiesel produced in bio-refineries could be integrated with conventional oil refinery processes to produce fuel, thusly reducing the dependence on crude oil. This represents a suitable alternative for increasing profit margins while being increasingly environmentally friendly. The identified possible routes of integration will be discussed in this contribution. For this purpose, the different proposed alternatives and their configurations were simulated and analysed. The developed models simulated key integrations e.g. a gasification unit that is fed from pyrolysis oil, biodiesel, and refinery residue, before being combined into one system involving all three. Varying forms of synthesis for these three feeds were also considered, focusing on novel techniques as well as environmentally friendly options that made use of waste products from other processes. The simulations revealed valuable gas stream rich in H2, with some CO2 and with a slight excess of CO resulting from the gasification unit. Further upgrading of these products was achieved by coupling the gasifier with a water gas shift (WGS) unit. This allowed a fine tune of the H2:CO ratio in the gas stream which can be further processed to obtain liquid hydrocarbons via Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis or alternatively, clean hydrogen for fuel cells applications.
An optimised integration approach connecting a conventional oil refinery with an ethylene production plant is investigated. Using the intermediate materials produced as the connection between the two plants, the use of internally provided feedstocks and blending options removes, at least partially, the reliance on external sourcing. This is also beneficial in terms of increasing profit margins and quality for both production systems. Thus, a mathematical model has been developed and implemented in this work to model the oil refinery and the ethylene production plant while considering their integration as an MINLP problem with the aim of optimising the integrated plants. This work considers the optimisation of each plant individually and later the final integration by modelling the interconnection between the oil refinery and the ethylene production plant. Moreover, a case study using practical data was carried out to verify the feasibility of the integration for an industrial application.