It is known as refinery to the industrial plant dedicated to the refinement of some substance. Refine , on the other hand, is the action that is carried out to achieve that something is purified or becomes thinner , leaving aside waste and separating certain particles.
Typically, the concept mentions a oil refinery . The refining process of this substance includes various treatments to convert crude oil into different products that can be marketed as fuels and oils.
Among the most common products obtained from the crude oil refining process are diesel, gasoline, lubricants, liquefied gases, fuel oils or kerosenes.
What processes of this type are those used in this kind of facilities? Fundamentally four:
-Conversion, which consists in carrying out the transformation of the so-called intermediate products in order to ensure 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 oil has by means of heat.
-Blending. This process is also called mixing, since it is precisely to mix 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 give form to the oil.
These refineries have different characteristics according to the processes that are carried out and the products that are obtained. He Petroleum crude, for example, can have different levels of sulfur , something that requires varied treatments according to each case.
In a refinery you can perform the atmospheric distillation , the catalytic reform , the hydrodesulfurization and the catalytic cracking of crude oil, among many others processes . This leads to the facilities of the different refineries being quite different from each other.
Despite the economic importance of the refineries, their installation and operation are usually questioned by environmental groups . These industrial plants, to a greater or lesser extent, generate pollutant emissions, are noisy, emanate unpleasant odors and force effluent discharge. For all this, the refineries must be strictly controlled by the State to prevent its activity from generating irreparable damage to the planet and, by extension, affect the quality of life of millions of people. It is estimated that there are six hundred oil refineries worldwide.
In addition to all of the above, we cannot ignore the fact that in the oil refineries, given the danger of the material with which it is worked, it is necessary that they be equipped with the greatest safety measures. Specifically, these include personal protective equipment for each and every worker, ongoing training in the prevention of risks to employees, wireless motion sensors, personnel tracking systems or temperature monitoring, air pressure , flow levels ...