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water usage per gallon of oil refined

I can't answer your question about water usage/consumption in 
the processing of crude oil. However, I will send your request to 
a technical group to see if someone in my field does know.
I would imagine it might be a little hard to get a "real" number 
associated with this, though. Water is used for cooling 
equipment such as pumps, compressors, and overhead heat 
exchangers and it is actually used in the process for desalting the 
crude before it gets to the heaters and distillation towers. If the 
crude is really "sour" (has lots of contaminants such as chlorides 
and sulfides, among others) it may require much more water to 
"clean" the incoming crude. In addition, steam is used as a 
driver for many pumps and compressors. And most refineries 
have 2 or more "ponds" where oily waters from surface washing 
are "cleaned" before being discharged. This involves the oil and 
other organics being broken down by specific micro-organisms. 
Then, you also have to consider that the raw crude coming in 
may have lot's of water entrained in it. The amount would be 
such a variable number, I wouldn't think it could be used for 
even a general statement about water consumption by the 
refining process. You may want to visit this website for a very 
simplified explanation of the oil-refining process:

I will forward any/all responses from our listserve to you as 
soon as I get them.
Good luck,
 Sherry J. Davis, CHMM
Industrial P2 Specialist
133 Ward Hall,KSU
Manhattan, KS  66506-2508
Fax: 785-532-6952
Phone: 1-800-578-8898

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