top of page

   As a fossil resource, oil goes through many painful stages from extraction to separation. In the decomposition, that is, the refining process, variable processes are carried out. Detailed information about these processes and their history we will see in our article.

History of Refining
► Dating back to 5000 years ago
► Sumerians: Extraction of asphalt and petroleum products + distillation
► 20th century: Development of refinery technologies
► Distillation units and auxiliary units
► 21st century: Refineries are a much more complex system than 100 years ago
► Cracking and coking pioneer units

After these stages, the development of refining in recent history;
► 1861: First oil refinery and production of kerosene by atmospheric distillation (naphtha and tar by-product)
► 1870s: Continuous distillation, multistage distillation, use of vacuum distillation and increase in the production of lubricating oils
► 1890s: With the emergence of internal combustion engines, the demand for gasoline and diesel increased, with the use of electricity, the demand for kerosene decreased, the demand for advanced lubricating oils increased: Solvent extraction
► 1913: Use of thermal cracking and visbreaking processes: Possibility to produce more gasoline and distilled fuel with thermal cracking

1930s;
► Improvement of octane number by catalytic cracking, thermal reforming and catalytic polymerization
► Removal of sulfur by hydroprocesses
► Production of gasoline blends by coking processes
► Improvement of viscosity index of lubricating oils by solvent extraction
► Improvement of pour point of various products by solvent dewaxing

1940s:
► Conversion of high boiling point components to gasoline and other distillates by catalytic cracking
► Increasing demand for aviation fuels: Catalytic alkylation and polymerization → More than 90% of molecules in refinery products interact with at least one catalyst

Between 1950-1970, developments in reforming processes and evaluation of waste gases in refineries;
► Deasphalting
► Hydrodesulfurization
► Catalytic reforming
► Hydrocracking

1970 - (Present): Quantitative methods
► Kinetic models providing quantitative simulation of complex chemical reactions
► Reaction kinetics and engineering (reactor design, scaling, all transport processes such as commercial application, catalysis)
► Automation and control enabling optimization of operation and economic performance
► Compositional modeling to predict composition and product properties

What Are the Driving Forces for the Development of New Processes in the Refining Industry?
1) Supply - demand for products such as gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, jet fuel
2) Quality of crude oil
3) Changing raw material supply depending on alternative supplies such as natural gas, coal
4) Environmental restrictions and regulations
5) Development of new catalysts and processes

Common Features of Refineries
► Having raw material flexibility and aiming to increase this rate, adding new processes
► Developing and renewing the refinery structure according to market needs
► Complex structures for higher efficiency

Refinery Types Refinery: It is called an integrated production facility group that can produce different numbers and types of products.

Modern refineries, on the other hand, are integrated systems that will allow the separation and conversion of crude oil, which has a highly complex structure, into various products.

bottom of page