Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), a ‘Maharatna’ and a Fortune Global 500 Company bagged prestigious award from Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) under the category ‘Sustainability award for the best green process in the petrochemical sector’. The Company received award for ‘Petroleum Sludge Valorisation’, a novel concept of valorising tank bottom sludge and renewable biomass and generating a versatile solid fuel. Dr. Chiranjeevi Thota, Deputy General Manager (R&D) received the award on behalf of the Company, which was conferred by Mr. Mansukh Mandviya, Union Minister of State, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Mr Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary, ‘Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals and Deepak Mehta-Chairman, FICCI Chemical Committee and C&MD Deepak Nitrate Ltd.
The solid fuel ‘Petrolet’ that is formed after the process of combining two waste materials has numerous applications in low-cost conventional heating , steam generation etc. Another advantage of this process is that it is environmental-friendly as the mixture of the oily sludge and bio-mass is then used in firing the kilns thereby replacing the requirement of high-cost conventional fuel. Due to this process, several thousand tonnes of petroleum sludge generated in refineries is used in gasifiers as a feedstock, thereby reducing the wastage. The final product possesses calorific value that is at par with coal used for furnace applications. This fuel mixture can be used as such or can be co-fired with coal or liquid fuels to enhance its heat value.
The oil sludge generated by refineries is one of the major sources of environmental pollution and are categorised as hazardous waste by Environment Protection Act and Hazardous Wastes Handling Rules. Bharat Petroleum’s Corporate Research & Development Centre developed this concept to replace the earlier process of bio-remediated sludge that used to take 6-10 months and was very expensive. Through this new process, the Company’s R&D team has not only came up with quick and environmentally acceptable solution; but also made it cost effective compared to earlier process.