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Energy

  • Refining Crude Oil (PDF 169 kb)
    This article describes the operation of the NZ Refining Company at Marsden Point. It deals with the separation of components by fractional distillation, chemical alteration of the hydrocarbons produced to make more useful products, and desulfurisation and recovery of sulfur.
  • Re-refining of Used Lubricating Oils (PDF 24 kb)
    This article describes Dominion Oil's process where the used oil is first boiled to remove water, and then undergoes fractional distillation. Gasoline, kerosene and diesel fractions come over first and followed by the lube oil fraction which has colour, odour and aromatic compounds removed by passing it through a special solvent. Additives then make for new lubricating oil.
  • Processing of Natural Gas at Kapuni (PDF 48 kb)
    This article describes how carbon dioxide (about 43%) and hydrogen sulfide are removed from the natural gas stream by passing it over a stream of hot potassium carbonate (and how the potassium carbonate is regenerated), followed by removal of water and fractionation into four streams, ethane and lighter, propane, butane, and pentane and heavier.
  • The Production of Methanol and Gasoline (PDF 234 kb)
    This article describes how methane is steam reformed to give syngas (CO and H2), and the synthesis of methanol from this at the Methanex sites in Taranaki. It also describes the conversion of methanol to gasoline by the MTG process developed by Mobil using zeolite catalysts. The MTG plant was mothballed in 1996.
  • Chemistry in the Coal Industry (PDF 19 kb)
    This article describes the analysis of coals produced at different mines by Coal Research Ltd. Properties determines are: total moisture, ash, volatile matter, fixed carbon, specific energy, sulfur, crucible swelling number, and ash fusion temperature.