Environmental Science & Technology | VOL. 48

Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Emission Intensity of Petroleum Products at U.S. Refineries

Publication Date Jun 17, 2014


This paper describes the development of (1) a formula correlating the variation in overall refinery energy efficiency with crude quality, refinery complexity, and product slate; and (2) a methodology for calculating energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensities and processing fuel shares of major U.S. refinery products. Overall refinery energy efficiency is the ratio of the energy present in all product streams divided by the energy in all input streams. Using linear programming (LP) modeling of the various refinery processing units, we analyzed 43 refineries that process 70% of total crude input to U.S. refineries and cover the largest four Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD) regions (I, II, III, V). Based on the allocation of process energy among products at the process unit level, the weighted-average product-specific energy efficiencies (and ranges) are estimated to be 88.6% (86.2%-91.2%) for gasoline, 90.9% (84.8%-94.5%) for diesel, 95.3% (93.0%-97.5%) for jet fuel, 94.5% (91.6%-96.2%) for residual fuel oil (RFO), and 90.8% (88.0%-94.3%) for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The corresponding weighted-average, production GHG emission intensities (and ranges) (in grams of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) per megajoule (MJ)) are estimated to be 7.8 (6.2-9.8) for gasoline, 4.9 (2.7-9.9) for diesel, 2.3 (0.9-4.4) for jet fuel, 3.4 (1.5-6.9) for RFO, and 6.6 (4.3-9.2) for LPG. The findings of this study are key components of the life-cycle assessment of GHG emissions associated with various petroleum fue...


Greenhouse Gas Emission Greenhouse Gas Emission Intensities Refinery Processing Units Process Unit Level Gas Emission Intensities Residual Fuel Oil Liquefied Petroleum Gas Product Slate Refinery Complexity Emission Intensities

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