Hydrogen production

Many refineries must intentionally generate hydrogen to supply all the needs of the hydrotreaters and hydrocrackers.

Refineries with a reformer typically generate a large portion of the hydrogen they need, but often this must be supplemented with intentional hydrogen generation, especially when making ultra-low sulfur fuels or when using a hydrocracker for conversion.

There are two major process options to make hydrogen, using either light ends or fuel oil as a feed:

  • Steam reforming - A catalytic process for making hydrogen from steam and a light hydrocarbon such as methane, ethane, or propane
  • Partial oxidation - A process for generating hydrogen through partial combustion of fuel oil (to CO) and injection of steam to force production of H2

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