Paving a way toward circular economy for oil and gas industry: A conceptual modelling of re-refining process through solvent extraction and hydrofinishing pathway

Puong Jun Lau, Wendy Pei Qin Ng*, Bing Shen How, Chun Hsion Lim, Hon Loong Lam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The oil and gas (O&G) industry has recently faced market headwinds due to high environmental impacts generated. Therefore, this study proposes to develop a circular economy (CE) model for the O&G industry by incorporating a re-refining process. A re-refining process based on an integrated solvent extraction and hydrotreatment unit is introduced as a media to re-valorize the waste lubricating oil (WLO) generated from crude oil. The proposed re-refining process is simulated and optimized using Aspen Plus V10 with integration into the CE model. In the CE model, 80% of the WLO is recovered to replace the portion of high-cost crude oil needed in the conventional linear economy (LE) model. Sensitivity analysis shows that the optimum re-refining process uses solvent mixture of 35% n-hexane/35% n-butanol/30% MEK. The optimum specifications are solvent extraction temperature at 25 °C, solvent to oil ratio of 3:1, hydrofinishing temperature at 270 °C and hydrofinishing pressure at 30 bar. In comparison to the LE model, the CE model achieves 22.67% lower overall annualized cost (OAC), which demonstrates the financial viability of the CE model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number134839
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume380
Early online date25 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Circular economy
  • Feasibility study
  • Oil and gas
  • Re-refining
  • Waste lubricating oil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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