Reliance Industries in a collaboration with Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP) Dehradun has developed an indigenous technology to restrict benzene, a carcinogenic element in gasoline and naphtha.
“…in a major technological and scientific breakthrough, RIL and IIP have come up with an indigenous Benzene Recovery Unit (BRU) which restricts benzene content to 0.2 volume per cent in raffinate (return stream to gasoline),” the company said in a press release today.
According to the statement, RIL carried out the construction and the ‘flawless’ commissioning of the BRU. On May 23 this year, the on-specification raffinate product (less than 0.2 volume per cent Benzene) was sent to storage for blending and sales.
With the successful culmination of the private-public venture, RIL and IIP have joined the league of elite technology developers, the company said.
The company claimed that enquiries are pouring in from across the globe, seeking to license the cost-effective, indigenous technology.
The technology will help to curb the menace posed by benzene, a known ‘carcinogenic’.
RIL had entered an agreement with Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehradun to co-develop an extractive distillation process.
The company said that there has been an increasing pressure on refiners around the world to reduce the amount of benzene and other hazardous air pollutants in the gasoline pool because of health and environmental concerns.
In 2011, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US made it mandatory for refiners to meet an annual average gasoline benzene content standard of 0.62 volume per cent for all of their gasoline, both reformulated and conventional.
Realising that the rest of the world too would follow suit, RIL had since been evaluating available technologies to remove benzene from Fluid Catalytic Cracker (FCC) light naphtha.
However, it could not implement it because of higher capital and operating expenditures and loss of value due to significantly lower benzene recovery.
The other issue with available technology was loss of octane barrel due to loss of high-octane olefinic compounds.