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PROCESS INTENSIFICATION IN OIL REFINING AND BASE CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES

Process Intensification promises more efficient use of energy, raw materials and investment money. Many roads toward this end have been proposed, but so far only four technologies - all of which have been introduced in the period 1977-1987 - are taking up the vast majority of industrial applications in petrochemicals and oil refining. These are Hydrogen Membrane Separation, Reverse Flow Reactors (RFR), Divided Wall Column distillation (DWC) and Reactive Distillation (RD). A fifth (micro-reactors) is trying to join this exclusive group.

Some of these technologies have already seen hundreds or even thousands of applications, others are on the verge of breaking into the market, while still others are not yet 'PI' but still 'pie in the sky'.