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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CAPE5420M Fuel Processing

15 creditsClass Size: 86

Module manager: Dr AB Ross

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective


This module will deliver an understanding of the technologies and chemical processes employed in the production of liquid and gaseous fuels (gasoline, diesel and kerosene, biofuels, hydrogen) including conventional refinery and sustainable bio-refinery operations, health and safety considerations and environmental impacts.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should:
- Have a broad knowledge of oil refining, and auxiliary processes in a modern oil refinery;
- Acquire a working knowledge of the principles and operation of the different processes in a modern oil refinery;
- Know the potential environmental emissions and how they are controlled;
- Know the hazards associated with the various processes and protection systems that can be employed;
- Have the ability to perform technology-specific calculations for different conversion processes;
- Have a broad knowledge of the composition of conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources;
- Acquire a working knowledge of the methods for measuring the composition of crude oil and refined fuel;
- Develop an understanding of alternative fuel processes & future bio-refining approaches.


Introduction to refinery processes, biorefineries, composition of feedstocks, final fuels and fuel properties.
Conventional refinery operations: Fractionation (atmospheric distillation, vacuum distillation, gas plant), upgrading units (reforming, alkylation, isomerisation), hydrotreating (desulpurisation),
conversion units, (catalytic catalytic cracking and hydrocracking), upgrading of residuals.(thermal cracking).
Auxiliary processes: Hydrogen production, acid gas removal, sulphur recovery, fuel blending.
Sustainable fuel processes: First, second and third generation biofuels, composition of bio-oils, synthetic fuels (Fischer Tropsch), upgrading of bio-oils, sustainable hydrogen production, integration of bio-oils into conventional refinery operations.
Health, Safety and Environment in refinery processes.
Historical background to HSE, Occupational Vs Process Safety, environmental issues in refining, air, water and soil.
Hazards and Risks - fires and explosions, layers of protection, swiss cheese model, risk assessment, material release, dispersion, scenarios and event trees. The combustion triangle, flammability. Explosion types, pressure pulse and material damage, effects on humans, explosion prevention mitigation and control. Ventilation, inerting, ternary flammability diagrams. Safe process start-up, shut-down and normal operating - case studies. Pool and jet fires, flame length, mass burning rate, effects of thermal radiation, modelling thermal radiation. Boilover. Bleve. Case studies. Hydrogen properties compared to hydrocarbons, Hydrogen safety.
Numerical calculations of yields, performance and prediction of conversion of processes.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours22.00
Private study hours100.00
Total Contact hours28.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Private study:
Review of lecture notes (approximately 50 hours)
Preparation of design assignment (approximately 30 hours)
Exam revision (approximately 40 hours)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative MCQ tests

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentMCQ (Refinery Processes)10.00
In-course AssessmentMCQ (Health, Safety, Environment & Numerical)20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)30.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) 2 hr 70.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)70.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:55:30


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