H&R Turns Residues into Specialties


H&R Group yesterday said it patented a process to convert low-value oil refinery by-products into high-quality process oils and other specialties on an industrial scale. A pilot plant at one of the companys German base oil plants is using the process to turn residues such as bitumen into products such as naphthenic process oils and white oils.

Never before has large-scale production been able to successfully produce an oil with a naphthenic base character from a residue of paraffin base origin, H&R Managing Director Nils Hansen claimed in a news release issued yesterday. The advantage in this process is that both paraffinic and naphthenic process oils, as well as specialty products, can be manufactured from a paraffinic raw material.

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The pilot system is at H&Rs plant in Salzbergen, Germany. The company plans to invest in the middle single-digit million euros at the site in the 2015 fiscal year to enable initial annual production of at least 5,000 metric tons of the specialty products.

Naphthenic process oils are in the production of materials such as plastics and printing inks, while white oils are used in cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food products.

The objective of patenting the process globally is to make it useful for other Group I refineries around the world and so we can work together as partners to make a sustainable contribution to reducing environmentally harmful by-products, Hansen said.

H&R has two Group I base oil plants in Germany – a 200,000 t/y plant in Salzbergen and a 253,000 t/y plant in Hamburg.

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