Since 2005 a new oil refining method and oil-refining plants based on this method have been brought into practice and successfully applied.

The method is conventionally called the whirl refinery – WR technology. The unconventional method is featured by very good ecological properties (as opposed to classical methods there is no need in discharge of waste liquids – oil sludge because they are not produced!). Air emissions are identical to exhausts of internal combustion engines. The method for refining of hydrocarbons is based on flash evaporation and step-by-step cooling at each refining stage. The new feature is use of cyclone separators/evaporators for separation into vapor phase and liquid phase at all refining stages. They are designed not only to ensure high-efficient separation of vapor and liquid phases through whirling motion, but also to efficiently restrict exit of vapors of heavy fractions along with vapors of light fractions to the next refining stage. Therefore, the implemented approach is based on the gas-dynamic solution of the problem associated with fractioning of hydrocarbons.

Advantages of the method allows successfully processing light and heavy oils, gas condensates and hydrocarbon mixtures with the same refinery plant based on the WR technology. Using our experience in the practical application of the method, we identified its additional advantages relating to refining of hydrocarbons, new application areas and new high-efficient oil refining solutions.

High-Efficient Directions of the WR Technology

1. Direction

Oil-refining plants of different purposes and capacities. First of all, direct distillation at atmospheric pressure.

Oil refining plants based on the WR technology principles are successfully operated in climatic conditions from +45ºС to -45ºС.

The plants with the capacity from 10 tons per day to 500 thousand tons per year (raw materials) have been developed and constructed.

 Purpose and Application of Plants

The advantages listaed above allow using the plants in the following areas of application:

1. General-purpose high-efficient and failure-free oil-refining equipment for production of motor power-plant fuels.

2. General-purpose equipment for refining oil slugge

3. General-purpose equipment for production of diesel fuel in development of oil and gas-condensate fields.

4. High-efficient equipment for extraction rectification, e.g. for extraction of aromatic hydrocarbons.

Additional Advantage

The preliminary skimming processing unit designed for processing of light oils and gas condensate enables high-efficient dehydration (with water content up to 7-8%) and desalting of oil that has been poorly pretreated. Note: - the process (dehydration and skimming processing) is conducted in the mode of straight oil distillation!

Note: The process (dehydration and skimming processing) is conducted in the mode of straight oil distillation

2. Direction


 The practical experience in operation of oil refining plants of cyclone type based on the WR technology allows creating new industries or directions in refining of hydrocarbons. For example, refining of oil (or gas condensate) in sea or river tankers on the way from producers of raw materials to ultimate consumers!

This has become possible because the cyclone separator used in the WR technology may stably operate even at vertical deviation of 450 and higher. This allows designing oil refinery tankers that will refine oil during transportation by sea and not suspend operation even in storm!  

Advantages of such scheme are clear:

Being loaded with oil in point А, such a tanker will arrive at terminal point В with a required range of finished oil products. In addition to this, (IMPORTANT!) an owner does not depend on whims of either oil supplier (it may be always replaced!) or a purchaser, or on problems of political regime, at the territory of which the stationary oil refinery is located (the tanker is not attached to the problem territory!).

Structure and Principle of Operation:

The design of this tanker will differ from a standard oil tanker only by installation of the compact oil-refining plant (stable cooling medium – water is also available) of high capacity and slightly modified process pipelines and oil pumping stations.

The following measures should be taken for conversion of the standard tanker to the oil refinery tanker.

1. To increase a number of compartments (tanks) for oil and oil products through installation of additional partitions.

2. To mount the oil refining plant in the cargo oil compartment near the deckhouse and connect it to tanks with process pipelines through the pumping station.

3. To install the control panel in the desk house. The refining process should be controlled through the industrial computer with touch monitor.

3. Direction

Refining of Oil Sludge

One of the key advantages of the method is the fact that significant variations in stock composition do not affect quality of finished products. This allows successful refining of hydrocarbons retrieved from different settling tanks and reservoirs for oil sludge that is impossible for the classical oil refining technology.

Oil sludge is often to be understood as: spent oils or oil contaminated with water and mechanical impurities, watered black oil, spent lubricating oils, soils contaminated with oil and other type of oil waste.

Methods for cleaning of oil sludge from mechanical impurities, as well as high-efficient oil-spill boats are well known and proved. Further use of collected hydrocarbon materials and efficiency of disposal methods are more complicated problems.

Processing of Liquid Raw Materials

1. Technical features of the cyclone plants developed by OOO Scientific Production Association ETN-Cyclone allow high-efficient dehydration of oil and oil residues (with content of residual water up to 7-8%), as well as high-efficient refining of oils (including oils retrieved from slurry tanks) to motor and power-plant fuels.   Collected oil residues may be exposed to thermal decomposition and produce black heating oil and cracked gasoline.

2.  If bitumen and lubricating oils (vacuum gas oil) are required to be produced from oil residues, dehydrated oil residues are exposed to vacuum distillation through the same separator/evaporator of cyclone type. If necessary, vacuum gas oil may be exposed to thermal decomposition to produce cracked gasoline and heating oil. Such a process flow allows high-efficient refining of oil residuals having different compositions with one and the same equipment.

Any design for refining liquid oil sludge will include retrieval of crude oil from a sludge tank and primary fractionating.  

 Designs will differ in refining purposes, as well as in quality of finished products (depth of refining), depending upon local conditions.  Capacity (amount of raw materials) is an additional characteristic of the plant.  


Use of pyrolysis gases and increase in efficiency of disposal methods based on combustion of oil sludge     

Combustion of oil sludge is one of the most popular methods for disposal of toxic waste. However:

1. Combustion produces a significant amount of toxic gases discharged in the air;

2. Combustion of oil sludge is a rather expensive process;

3. Valuable hydrocarbon component is lost during combustion.

We have developed the technique and the equipment that allow producing oil products from pyrolysis gases (without preliminary selective separation of gases!)

a mixture of ethyl and isopropyl alcohols – i.e. high-efficient high-octane additive to motor gasolines  (meets Euro-4 and Euro-5 requirements).

It should be noted again that any gas mixtures produced from oil refining and gas mixtures from oil sludge exposed to pyrolysis may be used as raw materials for this plant. Remaining gases that are not used for synthesis of alcohols are used as gaseous fuel for pyrolysis.

We have developed the plant with daily capacity up to 3, 10 and 200 tons of alcohol mixtures.