Pathways for CO2 Emissions Reduction from Oil Refineries – Understanding Technology Options and Costs

Author(s) H. Sarwara, S. Verma, S. Puthoor and Y. Torres
Hatch Ltd.


The primary sources of CO2 emissions for a medium to high complexity oil refinery are the power, steam, hydrogen production; fluid catalytic cracking (FCC); heaters; and compressor units that form part of the overall refinery process. These sources vary in both CO2 concentration and volume, and are dependent on the operational complexity, technologies, types of feedstocks, fuels, and power sourcing for each refinery. This paper seeks to examine several major decarbonization solutions available to support the refining industry’s quest for a viable roadmap that provides meaningful emissions reduction while ensuring sustainable operation. Results from evaluation of the existing and potential new technologies and costs for CO2 capture and other key pathways are presented, leveraging on Hatch’s expertise in the decarbonization technologies landscape and insights gained from experience on refinery projects and studies. A pragmatic approach would require a combination of multiple solutions, from improvement in energy efficiencies to CO2 capture, low(er) carbon power and hydrogen-sourced solutions, and feedstock and product diversification to achieve substantial decarbonization.