ExxonMobil's Baytown refinery begins production of cleaner gasoline

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Dec. 19 -- ExxonMobil Corp.'s 523,000 b/d Baytown refinery Wednesday started up new facilities designed to reduce sulfur in its motor gasoline by 90%.

Fluor Corp. was engineering, procurement, and construction contractor for the project.

The 3 year project included construction of the world's largest Scanfining unit, which uses ExxonMobil's proprietary Scanfining process that removes sulfur from cracked naphtha while minimizing octane loss in the gasoline produced.

Completion of the project will allow the refinery to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regulations that go into effect in 2004 for reduced sulfur gasoline. The regulations, mandated as part of the Clean Air Act Amendment of 1990, require refiners to reduce the maximum amount of sulfur in gasolinefrom current levels to 300 ppm in 2004-05, and to 80 ppm in 2006.

The new facilities also will reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from vehicles. NOx is an ozone-precursor that the Houston-Galveston area seeks to reduce to meet its ozone state implementation plan by 2007.

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