Publication Details

Title : Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Emission Intensity of Petroleum Products at U.S. Refineries
Publication Date : May 28, 2014
Publication Journal : http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es5010347
Authors : A. Elgowainy, J. Han, H. Cai, M. Wang, G. S. Forman, V. B. DiVita
Abstract : This paper describes the development of (1) a formula correlating the variation in overall refinery energy efficiency with crude quality, refinery complexity, and product slate; and (2) a methodology for calculating energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensities and processing fuel shares of major U.S. refinery products. Overall refinery energy efficiency is the ratio of the energy present in all product streams divided by the energy in all input streams. Using linear programming (LP) modeling of the various refinery processing units, we analyzed 43 refineries that process 70% of total crude input to U.S. refineries and cover the largest four Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD) regions (I, II, III, V). Based on the allocation of process energy among products at the process unit level, the weighted-average product-specific energy efficiencies (and ranges) are estimated to be 88.6% (86.2%-91.2%) for gasoline, 90.9% (84.8%-94.5%) for diesel, 95.3% (93.0%-97.5%) for jet fuel, 94.5% (91.6%-96.2%) for residual fuel oil (RFO), and 90.8% (88.0%-94.3%) for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The corresponding weighted-average, production GHG emission intensities (and ranges) (in grams of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) per megajoule (MJ)) are estimated to be 7.8 (6.2-9.8) for gasoline, 4.9 (2.7-9.9) for diesel, 2.3 (0.9-4.4) for jet fuel, 3.4 (1.5-6.9) for RFO, and 6.6 (4.3-9.2) for LPG. The findings of this study are key components of the life-cycle assessment of GHG emissions associated with various petroleum fuels; such assessment is the centerpiece of legislation developed and promulgated by government agencies in the United States and abroad to reduce GHG emissions and abate global warming.