By Burcy Ekmekci, FLUOR Fellow, FUOR

Is water becoming “the new oil”? Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) sets a clear ambition to pursue efforts towards energy transition. It has been recognized, however, that in order to be able to maximize the benefits from any energy transition project, an integrated water management strategy is required.

When considering converting an existing refinery from using oil as a feedstock, there are several trade-offs to consider related to water supply and treatment depending on energy production goals. Such a strategy has been compiled into a systematical approach that may enable refineries to assess the operational effectiveness and to implement optimal solutions. Hence, an optimization approach for Green Hydrogen production and integration of Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO) has been studied as a case study. This study would guide refineries during the Energy Transition by extended focus on Water and Wastewater Treatment.

The feed water supply is “the oil” together with electricity for electrolysis plants to produce Green Hydrogen. Electrolysis requires large amounts of water at demineralized or even ultra-pure water quality, which is to be produced in the refinery water treatment plant. Most feedstocks require a pre-treatment step to optimize the effectiveness of the hydrotreatment for co-processing of HVO.

Presentation file here