13 Jan 2010

Sulphur dioxide emissions from oil refineries in Europe (2006)

This report describes the results of the 2006 year survey into the sulphur pathways in European refining. This includes the distribution of sulphur in products, the capture and recovery of sulphur in refineries and the emission of sulphur oxides as part of the refining process. The archived results of surveys carried out for the years1998 and 2002 have also been reanalysed to ensure use of consistent methodology when establishing trends and to better understand caveats made in the 2002 survey report.

This survey covered a limited dataset and as a consequence, it was not known if it was fully representative.In 2006 67 surveys representing a crude throughput equivalent to 68% of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) European refining capacity were analysed.

Report No. 1/10: The results confirm a downward trend in the sulphur content of major product streams and a reduction of sulphur emitted from refinery operations to ~3.7% of total sulphur intake. This is a factor 2 lower than in1998. About 45% of all sulphur taken into refineries as crude and other products was recovered as elemental sulphur in 2006.The results of the reanalysis of earlier surveys were consistent with previous reports. Importantly we were able to establish that, despite concerns over the small survey size, the 2002 survey was generally representative.

An important exception was the sulphur content of Marine Bunker Fuels. The 2002 survey suggested a decrease in the sulphur content of marine fuels. However the 2006 and 1998 data were very similar. It therefore seems unlikely that the 2002.

For more information, please contact us