Water requirements of the petroleum refining industry
Water Supply Paper 1330-G
- Louis Ethelbert Otts Jr.
About 3,500 million gallons of water was withdrawn daily in 1955 for use by petroleum refineries in the United States. This was about 3 percent of the estimated daily withdrawal of industrial water in the United States in 1955. An average of 468 gallons of water was required to refine a barrel of crude oil, and the median was 95 gallons of water per barrel of crude charge; withdrawals ranged from 6.5 to 3,240 gallons per barrel.
Ninety-one percent of the water requirements of the petroleum refineries surveyed was for cooling. One-third of the refineries reused their cooling water from 10 to more than 50 times. Only 17 refineries used once-through cooling systems. Refineries with recirculating cooling systems circulated about twice as much cooling water but needed about 25 times less makeup; however, they consumed about 24 times more water per barrel of charge than refineries using once-through cooling systems.
The average noncracking refinery used about 375 gallons of water per barrel of crude, which is less than the 471-gallon average of refineries with cracking facilities. Refineries are composed of various processing units, and the water requirements of such units varied ; median makeup needs ranged from about 125 gallons per barrel for polymerization and alkylation units to 15.5 gallons per barrel for distillation units.
Refinery-owned sources of water supplied 95 percent of the makeup-water requirements. Surface-water sources provided 86 percent of the makeup-water demand. Less than 1 percent of the makeup water was obtained from reprocessed municipal sewage.
Additional publication details
- Publication type:
- Publication Subtype:
- USGS Numbered Series
- Water requirements of the petroleum refining industry
- Series title:
- Water Supply Paper
- Series number:
- Year Published:
- U.S. Government Printing Office
- Report: v, 54 p.; Plate: 19.50 x 11.91 inches
- Larger Work Title:
- Water requirements of selected industries
- First page:
- Last page: