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SAU EcoOil Seeks Ways to Utilize Oil Refinery Waste

Emil Sayfullin (Physics and Mechanics of Multiphase Media Lab) has won Presidential Scholarship for his work.

It’s an open secret that oil refining produces loads of flare gas and other associated byproducts. Traditional combustion of flare gas has long been deemed unfriendly to the environment and economically wasteful. The energy losses are really significant on a global scale. However, refinery waste is known for its unstable composition which leads to some problems with its efficient utilization.

Mr. Sayfullin comments, “Instability of composition can be met in almost any type of fuel, be it natural gas or alternative sources – the difference is only in the range of changes. This specificity is very important because the composition of a fuel influences its thermal emission, i. e. its efficiency, and the stability of combustion. Whereas, conversely, the energy generation must be uninterrupted.”

The young researcher, who has engaged in non-traditional energy research since his early student years, says that even the smallest changes in fuel composition can lead to serious emergencies, such as flame blowout, backfire, or self-combustion, and environmental problems. Hence the existence of a prevailing negative opinion of the non-traditional sources. However, the Lab staff is sure this will soon change. Their project is interesting because it seeks to guarantee stable utilization of byproducts with the already existing sets of devices on refining complexes.

“We are working on an automated system of combustion process optimization. Changes in energy source temperatures allow determining changes in the heat transfer process which directly depends on the fuel composition and optimality of the combustion. After establishing this correlation, we can regulate the process accordingly,” says Emil.

As of now, a mathematical model for the algorithm of optimization of the combustion of a mixed-composition hydrocarbon fuel has been created. It will help regulate fuel and air consumption for optimal combustion with full burning and required thermal emission. The team now plans to conduct tests.


The heat effect of combustion process depending on fuel composition fluctuations