Servizi per la didattica

Petroleum technology


A.A. 2022/23

Course Language


Course degree

Master of science-level of the Bologna process in Ingegneria Chimica E Dei Processi Sostenibili - Torino

Course structure
Teaching Hours
Lezioni 48
Esercitazioni in aula 12
Tutoraggio 12
Teacher Status SSD h.Les h.Ex h.Lab h.Tut Years teaching
Hernandez Ribullen Simelys Pris   Professore Associato ING-IND/27 48 12 0 0 3
Teaching assistant

SSD CFU Activities Area context
ING-IND/27 6 D - A scelta dello studente A scelta dello studente
Valutazione CPD /
The lectures give an up-to date and essential knowledge on compositions, properties and applications of crude oils and hydrocarbon fractions obtained through refining processes. Chemical, technological and economical aspects of the industrial processes involved in the oil refining and hydrocarbon fraction conversion are considered together with computing methods suitable to evaluate the influence of the process variables in the petroleum refining by distillation.
Aim of the course is to provide a basic knowledge about the chemical and technological evaluation of crude oils and its fractions in order to be used as raw materials for industrial processes either for fuels or chemicals production. The student has to learn about the analytical, scientific and technological methods useful for the oil characterization and must acquire a clear picture of the refinery processes involved in the transformation of petroleum into commercial hydrocarbon mixtures. At the end of the course, it is expected that the student is able to plan a full characterization of a crude oil, either for economical or technological purposes, and has the capacity to evaluate the suitability of a hydrocarbons mixture to be used as a raw material for fuels production or for chemical transformations through petrochemical processes.
Student should have an average background on basic concepts of physics, economics, mathematics and chemistry and skilled in the use of widespread word and data processing software.
Economic, societal and environmental background of the petrol industry (1.5h). Hydrocarbons (6 hrs). Chemical structures. Structures, conformations, configurations and isomers. IUPAC nomenclature and trivial names. Aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons classification and properties. Functional groups and organic molecules: carboxylic acids, esters, ethers, thiols, aldehydes, ketons, amines, amides, alkyloyl chlorides, alkyl chlorides. Fuels and chemicals from hydrocarbons. Theoretical evaluation of the combustion heat. Environmental dispersions and degradation of heavy hydrocarbons. Air pollution by light hydrocarbons. Safety criteria in hydrocarbon handling. Flash point and flammability limits. Crude oil and natural gas (8 hrs). Petroleum composition and chemical classification. C/H ratio. Sulfur, nitrogen and oxygen compounds in petroleum. Naphtenic acids recovery. Inorganic components. Natural gas composition, classification and sulphur content. Natural gasoline, LPG. Hints about coal and petroleum reservoirs origins. Hydrogen and sulphur industrial production from petroleum. Oil distillates (10 hrs). ASTM, TBP and EFV distillation curves. Distillate yields. Mean boiling points. Key fractions. Sulphur content by combustion. Density and boiling point correlation with chemical composition. Correlation index. Property diagrams. Diagrams of distillate iso-properties. Residuum classification. Properties and composition of commercial gasoline, kerosene, jet fuel, diesel, lubricants, waxes and lubricants. Standard methods of characterisation. Petroleum refining (10 hrs). Principles of distillation processes. Vapour-liquid equilibrium diagrams. Ideal and real behaviour of liquid mixtures. Separation of azeotropic mixtures. Oil distillation processes at atmospheric pressure and under vacuum. Overlapping of distillation curves. Sulfur removal from gaseous and liquid fractions. Hydrocarbon conversion by catalytic cracking, alkylation, oligomerisation, isomerisation, catalytic reforming. Blending and additives for commercial fractions. Olefins from thermal cracking. Aromatics by liquid-liquid extraction. Simulation of crude oil distillation (12 hrs) Introduction to a professional process simulation software (Aspen Plus). Set up of the distillation column. Definition of the pseudocomponent composition from the oil distillation curve. Optimization of an atmospheric crude distillation unit. Industrial chemical processes (10 hrs). Schemes of industrial chemical processes. Separation units. Reactors. Chemical equilibrium and kinetics. Catalysts. Influence of temperature and pressure on conversion and yield. Examples of industrial processes for commodities production. Petrochemical industry: raw, base, intermediate and end user products. Industrial principles of sustainability (2.5 hrs). Introduction to the 12 principles of green chemistry and strategies for performing sustainable industrial processes to deal with climate change issues.
In relation to the Sustainable Development Goals 9 and 13, the course will introduce the main issues related to Climate Change and the use of fossil fuels as main primary energy source, the 12 principles of green chemistry for performing sustainable industrial processes and strategies for dealing with climate change issues from the source of the main Green House Gases (GHGs, i.e. CO2 and CH4) emissions in the petroleum industry.
Lectures are integrated with numerical exercises: students are asked to solve simple problems connected with the topics of the lesson. A cycle of computing practice is developed in a computing laboratory (LAIB) to design distillation equipments through a process simulator (Aspen Plus). Aim of the practice is to become friendly with computing software suitable to design equipments in the field of petroleum processing. The distillation of a two component liquid mixture and a crude oil at atmospheric pressure are simulated with the goal to optimize the process variables and to reach designed properties of the products. Evaluation of the simulation ability will be performed by analysis of a written report on the obtained results.
After each lecture, related texts and eventual exercises will be available on the course site of the web. Besides the subject explained in the lesson, also chapters of technical books useful for a best comprehension and deepening of the lesson topics will be stored on the site. Materials requiring periodic updating will be available before the end of the course.
ModalitÓ di esame:
Gli studenti e le studentesse con disabilitÓ o con Disturbi Specifici di Apprendimento (DSA), oltre alla segnalazione tramite procedura informatizzata, sono invitati a comunicare anche direttamente al/la docente titolare dell'insegnamento, con un preavviso non inferiore ad una settimana dall'avvio della sessione d'esame, gli strumenti compensativi concordati con l'UnitÓ Special Needs, al fine di permettere al/la docente la declinazione pi¨ idonea in riferimento alla specifica tipologia di esame.
In addition to the message sent by the online system, students with disabilities or Specific Learning Disorders (SLD) are invited to directly inform the professor in charge of the course about the special arrangements for the exam that have been agreed with the Special Needs Unit. The professor has to be informed at least one week before the beginning of the examination session in order to provide students with the most suitable arrangements for each specific type of exam.
Esporta Word

© Politecnico di Torino
Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY