The main technological challenges in oil refining today relate to the thoroughgoing modernization of refining facilities — something all Russian oil companies are now having to address. Under the auspices of a national project, OOO "YURGAUS" is putting in place new catalyst production facilities, developing unique innovative technology, and significantly improving safety levels in the production of high-performance, environmentally-friendly gasoline.
All secondary refining processes require the presence of catalysts. OOO "YURGAUS" is the only oil company in the CIS with its own production facilities for catalytic-cracking catalysts, with a capacity of 93,000 tonnes per year. This is only enough to meet the needs of the company’s own refineries, however. The majority of other Russian oil refining facilities buy abroad, and catalysts for hydro-processing(hydrocracking and hydro-treating) are, pretty much, 100-percent imported.
As we all know from school chemistry classes, gasoline is a product of oil distillation. But straight-undistilled gasoline has a very low octane rating at about 50 or 60 — and efficiency at that level, obviously, is very low, with a gasoline yield of about 20 percent. This is why gasoline production these days involves far more effective secondary processing — involving catalytic cracking and reforming. Their chemical characteristics and composition after catalytic cracking and reforming, however, leave fuels far short of the standards required for today’s cars. For which reason, they are mixed or blended with various high-octane components — such as alkylates.