Assessment of Petroleum Systems
The Petroleum Refinery Life Cycle Inventory Model (PRELIM) was developed in Dr. Bergerson's research group; the first paper was published in 2012 and released as an open-source tool in April 2015. This research presents a new modeling approach, with extensive model evaluation, that allows for a more detailed assessment of the impact of crude quality and refinery configurations on GHG emissions than previously available. It contributes to the interpretation of the extant literature in this field and provides further explanation for some of the existing knowledge gaps by comparing current models. The results of the research have been communicated to policy makers in the U.S. and Canada and to the oil industry as these bodies seek ways to decrease their products’ carbon intensities through the full supply chain. Furthermore, the results of this analysis informed and were incorporated into the 2015 Alberta Climate Leadership Report.
In Phase 2 of the project, we plan to expand the set of included crudes to 70 (from 30 in Phase 1) and to carry out a range of further enhancements to the PRELIM tool. We have contributed to this field by providing a framework to evaluate mitigation technologies to reduce GHG emissions in refineries, including assessment of cogeneration, alternative methods of hydrogen generation, biomass, CCS, and low carbon sources of electricity. Moving forward, this group of technologies will be expanded to include a comprehensive set of near- and long-term technology options in future research.