Petroleum refining and air quality management

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


Management of the air quality surrounding Petroleum Refineries deserves attention because the industry contributes almost five percent of the total emissions from all anthropogenic sources. A document containing a complete set of guidelines for use in the refining industry which satisfies the current and anticipated air quality legislations and regulations in the U.S. is necessary. In the past, several documents have been prepared, but have not included a complete coverage of the air quality management as currently needed. Furthermore, due to the continuing revisions of the Clean Air Act, a document with current, updated regulations and air quality management principles is necessary. This study dealt with a broad range of topics including characteristics of emissions, control technology applied, regulations and legislative issues, monitoring and modeling practices, and issues of the 1980s together with future projections and implications. Air quality regulations and standards are periodically revised and are becoming more stringent with time. Issues like acid rain may lead to even more stringent emission standards if investigations carried out currently reveal that the refineries are significant contributors. Great measures are taken to control emissions from the refineries either by using good control equipment or using other alternative control strategies. Small operating refineries are closing down due to changing conditions. An agglomeration and or expansion of the existing refining capacity is occuring. The air quality trends associated with this transition in the industry are discussed.