|Originally posted by rinselberg:|
I wonder what the oil and gas industry would be like if it were only about supplying the feedstock for plastics, and for creating asphalt and solvents and other chemicals. If it wasn't about gasoline and diesel, or if the only gasoline or diesel fuel that came out of it was looped right back into it, making the oil and gas industry a closed loop in terms of energy production.
Would it make sense, in some future evolution, as a much smaller industry?
I'm setting this up for the forum's more knowledgable ones, about the oil and gas industry.
There would be huge wastes of crude, with nowhere to use the long chain molecules, but the processes themselves wouldn't look much different.
Asphalt comes off the distillation tower 1st, at the lower temps and a large % of it is also made from residue left from the other distillation levels. Obviously, there is no shortage of asphalts in the world, and they even appear naturally in some places.
'Plastics' comes from the higher distillation and cracking processes, at temps higher than all the other products. Olefins and poly-olefins.
Most plastics come from the short chain gaseous part of the process, or more commonly, from natural gas. This happens high up on the distillation/cracking chain of crude as well.
Napthas are where the liquid chemicals & solventscome from. This happens below the gasoline but above the diesel, kerosenes and jet fuels phase.
There are plenty of illustrations of the cracking/distillation processes on google but they are extremely simplified. (in comparison to the actual processes)
In the scenario you pose, the real question, is what to do with all the 'residue' that is (or will) not used and it holds true for any given quantity of crude oil.
[This message has been edited by maryjane (edited 06-05-2021).]