Crude Oil Topping Units
Crude oil topping units fill a need for crude oil producers that have domestic requirements for diesel, fuel oil, kerosene, AGO, LPG or asphalt but don’t have total refining capacity. Essentially they are atmospheric distillation units that produce hydrocarbon boiling point cuts from resid to LPG. A topping unit is an inexpensive, technically simple means to enhance the value of crude oil near the source of production.
Crude oil distillation is an energy intensive process that requires crude oil heaters with cross heat exchangers. Desulfurization and desalting are necessary to achieve product specs and also to protect the topping unit from fouling and corrosion. Hydrocracking, hydrotreating and fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC) are downstream processes that enhance yields of gasoline, but are not required in many countries. Asphalt can be produced with vacuum distillation and air blowing from the resid.
A diesel unit is a simplified topping unit that concentrates on diesel range components without the full range of products available in an atmospheric crude oil distillation column.
Sep-Pro Systems can manufacture all the major components of a topping unit, resulting in greater efficiency in cost and delivery time. Sep-Pro will lease the systems if appropriate. Crude oil topping units add considerable value to crude oil and a lease becomes easily justified.