Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here


Make-up Water Requirements for Oil Refinery

Make-up Water Requirements for Oil Refinery

Make-up Water Requirements for Oil Refinery

I am doing some prelim project research as to the make-up water requirements and general information on water balances for a large, full-conversion refinery.  I've done some preliminary research that has provided some good "rules of thumb" such as:

o  "Best Practice" Refineries might use less than 20 gal of water per barrel of oil
o  General industry averages might be as high as 60-90 gal of water per barrel
o  CW make-up accounts for about 50% of total refinery water needs considering (BFW blowdown, process water, unrecovered condensate, etc).

I am interested in determining "how low can you go" with regards to total water consumption in a refinery and whether the technologies that support water reuse (e.g. wastewater reused as CT make-up) have been successfully proven on a commercial scale.  I am also looking into air/fin-fan coolers/condensers in lieu of CW exchangers and what impact this can have on reducing water usage, but also on increasing capital costs.

I just stumbled onto this site and noted the substantive feedback here.  Thanks for any input and sorry for the long message.

RE: Make-up Water Requirements for Oil Refinery

What are your ambient conditions with respect to CT losses due to evaporation?


PS: welcome to the site.  Long posts that help make your inquiry understandable to us are not a problem.

RE: Make-up Water Requirements for Oil Refinery

Well, the ambient conditions for this particular site are wide-ranging....very cold in winter and summertime peaks of 90F or higher.

However, I am trying to get a broad and comprehensive understanding of the potential range in water usage and water minimization practices, and the key variables I can manipulate, before taking it to the site-specific level.  For example, I know I can replace some CW exchangers with air-cooled exchangers.  But in the case where I'm condensing light hydrocarbons, this can increase the operating pressure and increase other capital costs (not just for the heat exchanger), and generally move away from a more optimal operating point.

So to sum up, for a site that has rather severe water restrictions, I'm trying to understand the applicability of water reuse and CW replacement with air exchangers to see how low I can drive make-up water requirements.


RE: Make-up Water Requirements for Oil Refinery


I made a study for a client about 25 years ago, part of which was to study the water losses from four refineries ranging in size from 30,000 to 130,000 barrels of crude oil processed per stream day.

The average water losses for those refineries were:

Cooling tower evaporation loss = 15 (gal of water)/(bbl of crude)

Wastewater discharge = 10 to 40 (gal of water)/(bbl of crude)

Other losses = about 3 percent of total water losses

Total water use = (25 to 55)/0.97 = 26 to 57 (gal of water)/(bbl of crude)

The water intake of the refineries also includes the crude oil BS&W.  The average BS&W only amounted to less than 1 percent of the total  water intakes... and that is not included in the above data.

Milton Beychok
(Contact me at www.air-dispersion.com)

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close