It is known as refinery to the industrial plant dedicated to refinement of some substance. Refine, for its part, is the action that is carried out to achieve that something is purified or becomes finer, leaving aside waste and separating certain particles.
Typically, the concept makes mention of a oil refinery. The refining process of this substance includes various treatments to convert crude oil into different products that can be traded, as fuels and oils.
Among the most common products obtained from the crude refining process are diesel, gasoline, lubricants, liquefied gases, fuel oils or kerosenes.
What processes of this type are used in this class of facilities? Fundamentally four:
-Conversion, which consists of carrying out the transformation of the so-called intermediate products in order to achieve that the result has a higher quality, that is, that they have much more optimal characteristics. In turn, this process can be of several kinds: cracking, alkylation, coking …
-Separation by distillation, which is about separating the different components that the crude oil has by means of heat.
-Blending. This process is also called mixing, since it precisely consists of mixing various intermediate products to achieve specific endings.
-Purification, which is used in cases where the objective is to proceed to transform or eliminate certain components that shape the crude.
These refineries have different characteristics according to the processes that are carried out and the products that are obtained. The Petroleum crude oil, for example, may have different levels of sulfur, something that requires varied treatments according to each case.
In a refinery, the atmospheric distillation, the catalytic reforming, the hydrodesulfurization and the catalytic cracking of crude oil, among many others processes. This means that the facilities of the different refineries are quite different from each other.
Despite the economic importance of refineries, their installation and operation are often questioned by environmental groups. These industrial plants, to a greater or lesser extent, generate polluting emissions, are noisy, emit unpleasant odors and force the discharge of effluents. For all this, refineries must be strictly controlled by the Condition to prevent its activity from generating irreparable damage to the planet and, by extension, affecting the quality of life of millions of people. There are an estimated six hundred oil refineries around the world.
In addition to all the above, we cannot ignore the fact that in oil refineries, given the dangerous nature of the material used, it is necessary for them to be equipped with the highest security measures. Specifically, these include personal protective equipment for each and every one of the workers, continuous training in the prevention of risks to employees, wireless motion sensors, personnel tracking systems or monitoring of temperature, air pressure , flow levels …