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Trafigura selects isotherming technology for diesel hydrotreater

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Elessent has announced the signing of license and engineering contracts with Trafigura for the construction of an IsoTherming® diesel hydrotreater at the Bahía Blanca Refinery located in Argentina.

The addition of the IsoTherming® diesel hydrotreater will revolutionise the refining capabilities of the Bahía Blanca Refinery, which currently operates on domestic crude sourced from the Vaca Muerta and other regions of Argentina. This project represents a major investment by Trafigura in expanding the refinery’s diesel capacity and enhancing its ability to produce and sell ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) domestically. This move will also position the refinery to meet the upcoming regulation that requires a reduction in the maximum sulfur content in ULSD to 10ppm.

The technology enhances the quality of diesel fuel by efficiently removing sulfur, nitrogen, and other impurities, and also has much lower carbon emissions than a traditional hydroprocessing unit. Through the use of a liquid-full reaction zone and an effluent recycle loop, the technology requires less heating from the feed charge heater, resulting in less fuel gas burned. The ULSD fuel product complies with stringent emission regulations and also facilitates cleaner combustion in diesel engines. This cleaner combustion translates to a significant decrease in carbon dioxide (CO2) and particulate matter emissions, mitigating the adverse impact of diesel-powered transportation on air quality in the region as well as global climate change.

The diesel hydrotreater unit will be designed to optionally co-process renewable feedstock in the form of vegetable oil, giving the refinery the latitude to replace a portion of its feed with a non-fossil fuel source while producing a high-quality diesel product. This is a significant opportunity to further reduce carbon emissions and enhance sustainability measures.

Startup of the new Trafigura IsoTherming unit is expected for 2025-2026.

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