Energy and environmental sustainability assessment of a crude oil refinery by thermodynamic analysis

Mahdi Alhajji, Yaşar Demirel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This study presents the assessment of energy and environmental sustainability metrics for a crude oil refinery consisting of three distillation columns. The assessments of the current operation and the retrofits for possible improvements are suggested by the thermodynamic analysis and energy analyzer. The main objective is to explore the scope of reducing the thermal energy consumption and CO2 emissions for a more sustainable refinery operation. Thermodynamic analysis is carried out by using the thermal analysis capability of 'column targeting tool' to address the 'energy intensity metrics' and the 'energy analyzer' to design and improve the performance of the heat exchanger network system for process heat integration. Environmental pollution impact metrics are estimated from the 'carbon tracking' options with a selected CO2 emission data source of US-EPA-Rule-E9-5711 and using crude oil as a primary fuel source for the hot utilities. The results indicate that column targeting tool, energy analyzer, and carbon tracking can estimate the energy and environmental sustainability metrics of an existing design and determine the scope of considerable improvements for reducing the costs of thermal energy required and emissions of carbon dioxide in a crude oil refinery operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1925-1941
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Energy Research
Issue number14
StatePublished - Nov 2015


  • Carbon tracking
  • Column targeting tool
  • Crude oil refinery
  • Exergy loss profiles
  • Heat exchanger network system
  • Sustainability metrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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