Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) has chosen Honeywell UOP's Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) technology to supply high-quality hydrogen at five of its refineries.
Hydrogen is essential to the refining process, where it is used to decontaminate oil and facilitate catalytic processes that produce clean-burning fuels, including those that meet the Indian government's strict Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) environmental standards, set to come into force from April 2020.
Under the terms of the agreement, Honeywell UOP will provide new PSA units to IOCL refineries at Gujarat, Panipat, and Mathura, and will upgrade existing hydrogen plants with UOP's Polybed PSA technology at refineries in Haldia, Guwahati and Gujarat. Together, the six projects will generate 166,000 tons per year of new hydrogen capacity, representing an almost 30 percent increase for IOCL.
"Honeywell UOP's hydrogen technology is part of IOCL's efforts to produce BS-VI fuels before the end of 2019," said Mike Banach, regional general manager for Honeywell UOP India. "This is a project of national importance to help India reduce pollution and improve its quality of life."
IOCL chose Honeywell UOP technology due to its performance, superior economics and ability to meet an aggressive delivery schedule driven by India's BS-VI emissions standards. UOP PSA technology features new UOP adsorbents that recover high levels of hydrogen. The project includes a substantial amount of Indian-made components and domestic fabrication, in line with the government's Make in India program.
When the project is completed, the additional hydrogen produced each year will have a value to IOCL of about US$400 million.
"Hydrogen is as essential to refining as oil, and it's generated on-purpose and as a byproduct of refining processes," said Banach. "The PSA technology recovers and purifies this hydrogen so it can be used elsewhere in the refinery to remove impurities and to perform catalytic processes that transform crude oil into clean fuels and other products."
Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, together with its subsidiaries, has interests across the entire hydrocarbon value-chain, including refining, pipeline transportation, marketing of petroleum products, exploration and production of crude oil, natural gas, and petrochemicals.