Profile of the petroleum refining industry in California: California industries of the future program

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) established the Industries of the Future (IOF) program to increase energy efficiency, reduce waste production and to improve competitiveness, currently focusing on nine sectors. The IOF is a partnership strategy involving industry, the research community and the government, working together to identify technology needs, promote industrial partnerships and implement joint measures with all partners involved.

The State Industries of the Future (SIOF) program delivers the accomplishments of the national Industries of the Future strategy to the local level, to expand the technology opportunities to a larger number of partners and reach smaller businesses and manufacturers that were not initially involved in the IOF effort. The state programs bring together industry, academia, and state agencies to address the important issues confronting industry in the state. These public-private coalitions facilitate industry solutions locally and enhance economic development. California has started a State Industries of the Future effort in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is leading the SIOF program in California, as part of many other programs, to improve the energy efficiency and performance of industries in California. The California State IOF program aims to build a network of participants from industry, academia and government in four selected industrial sectors as a basis for the development of a strategic partnership for industrial energy efficient technology in the state. In California the IOF effort focuses on petroleum refining, chemical processing, food processing and electronics. As part of this effort, the SIOF program will develop roadmaps for technology development for the selected sectors. On the basis of the roadmap, the program will develop successful projects with co-funding from state and federal government, and promote industry-specific energy-efficiency. This report aims to provide background information for the development of a research and development roadmap for the Californian petroleum refining industry.

Refineries are the largest energy using industry in California and the most energy intensive industry in the United States. Petroleum refining industries have evolved from relatively simple distillation-based plants to highly complex and integrated distillation and conversion processes. In fact, the petroleum refining industry of today looks more like the chemical industry. Refineries are facing many challenges, e.g. increased fuel quality, heavier crudes and changing product mix, increasing and more volatile energy prices, need to reduce air pollutant emissions, increased pressure on profitability, and increased safety demands. These challenges will affect the industry and technology choice profoundly. In this report we discuss the historical development of the petroleum refining industry in the U.S. and California. The analysis shows that the Californian refining industry is a national leader in developing approaches to the identified challenges when compared to the national industry.





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