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The Chemical Engineer's Book Corner

coverHandbook of Petroleum Refining Processes

Author(s): Robert A. Meyers
Publisher: McGraw-Hill

Bottom Line:  This is more information than you'll find anywhere about the most popular processes used in the refining industry.  Even the companies that license these technologies don't tell you this much on their own websites or literature.  If you're involved in the refining industry, get this book!

Summary:  "Handbook of Petroleum Refining Processes" reveals many of the sought after technical details of the world's most popular refining processes.  Staff from the technology providers contributed to the handbook so the accuracy of the information is sure to be right on target.  The book contains photos of actual installations and appropriate diagrams to properly explain the principle behind the processes.  The second edition features new chapters from Chevron, Mobil, Shell, Exxon, UOP, and Texaco which define technology, pollution-control, and economic aspects of 60 petroleum refining processes.  Do you work at a refinery?   If so, you should certainly get this book.

     The book is divided into the following main sections: 
Alkylation and Polymerization
Base Aromatics Production Processes
Catalytic Cracking
Catalytic Reforming
Gasification and Hydrogen Production
Separation Processes
Sulfur Compound Extraction and Sweetening
Visbreaking and Coking
Oxygenates Production Technologies
Hydrogen Processing
Abbreviations and Acronyms

Layout:    Each process is described in an average of 7 to 10 pages.  Descriptions often include process chemistry, process flow diagrams, economic consideration, case studies, and environmental issues.  The use of real photographs of actual installations is a great feature that gives a feeling of connection with the written words and process diagrams.

From the Book:

3.3 UOP Fluid Catalytic Cracking Process
     Paralleling the significant improvements in FCC unit design was a corresponding improvement in FCC catalysts.  The first catalysts used were ground-up amorphous silica alumina.  Whether synthetic or naturally occurring, these catalysts suffered from low activity and poor fluidization characteristics.  Often, fines had to be collected from the flue gas and returned to the unit to assist in maintaining smooth catalyst circulation.

Highs:     One book that contains as much information as one could expect to lay eyes on about the refining industries most popular processing technologies.  Written by the people who know the processes best, this book delivers exactly what the title promises.

Lows:     While many of the sections include case studies, we like to see even more of them in the next edition.  There's nothing quite like learning from experience.

Overall:     An authoritative reference guide to most processes that you'll encounter in the refining industry.  This books let's the reader peek inside the think tanks of the world's largest process design firms and learn what goes into process design.  Again, if you're associated with the refining industry, get this book.

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