When distillation was first developed, it was clear the solvent was only for extraction and separation, and not for reaction. A by-product of this still was the need to produce a condensate. This condensate was then distilled back into consumer products. The first process to be developed was called the “Treat and Separate” process where the crude oil was fed through the unit, pretreated, and then separated into different streams. These streams were then refined separately. This process was able to be performed on a small scale.
The second application of distillation is called the “Dry” process. The principle of this application is to leave almost all the organic substances in the crude oil. This principle was used in the Alberta field (Royal Dutch Shell) and other areas in the early 1900s. The Humble Oil Refinery (now Anadarko) was the first company to apply this principle on a large scale. Because this cleaning charge (cleaner) is solid, the production processing has to be changed in order to mix it with the oil. This also means there is some by-product of the process that is a liquid. This cleaner is processed with the oil, and the outputs of the cleaner are known as slop oil and bottoms.
The third application is called “Wet”. Essentially, this is a distillation process where most of the hydrocarbons are removed. There are many processes that fit into this category. The “Wet” process is basically the reverse of the “Dry” process. In the “Dry” process, almost all of the hydrocarbons are removed leaving behind the distilled water product. In the “Wet” process, almost all of the water is removed leaving behind the hydrocarbons (oil). This is a fantastic change in processing because it eliminates a lot of equipment used in the “Dry” process. This process also eliminates a lot of the chemical reactions, treatment, and separation steps, and speeds up the processing time. d2c66b5586