Vapour cogen

21 May 1999

In an oil tanker petrol loading facility located in Rotterdam, Holland, a modified 14 litre Scania engine fuelled by vapour emissions in a cogeneration system is providing electricity and heating for the petrol storage depot. The installation features a vapour processing system (VPS) developed by Petrocare in Holland, in association with Belgium's Continental Energy Systems (CES).

When loading the tanker, gas is naturally discharged, with a litre of oil generally giving off about a litre of vapour. In the past, this vapour had been allowed to naturally dissipate into the atmosphere. Recent legislation has put a stop to this practise. Oil distribution companies therefore have to either recover the vapour and convert it back into a liquid form – a costly operation – or to find an alternative solution.

The cogen system, which is fitted with Petrocare's VPS, allows for fully automatic operation, processing vapours which exceed 6 mbar. The recovered vapour is stored in a storage vessel, and then transferred to the engine as a fuel source operating the generating sets.

A major advantage of the system is that it recovers the entire energy content of the vapour, efficiently producing electricity, instead of actually consuming energy in order to regain liquid petroleum.

The operator is looking into the possibility of installing another unit at the location.

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