New HollyFrontier Scrubber To Improve Air Quality

courtesy HollyFrontier

By Staff 4-30,2015

Cheyenne’s skyline is set to change next month with the addition of new equipment at the HollyFrontier Cheyenne Refinery designed to dramatically improve air quality.

This week the refinery will begin the installation of a $30 million wet scrubber designed to capture particulate and gas emissions from the plant. Once operational, the new equipment will reduce sulfur dioxide by 75%, nitrogen oxide emissions by 60% and will capture 85% of particulate emissions from the Fluid Catalytic Cracker unit, which primarily produces gasoline.

“The installation of this project represents a significant step forward for our refinery,” said Mike Achacoso, Vice President and Plant Manager of the Cheyenne Refinery. “We continue to invest in our facility to responsibly manufacture transportation fuels for Wyoming and the Front Range. I am also pleased this new scrubber will help reduce our environmental footprint in the community.”

The scrubber uses different types of filters, separators and water sprays to capture emissions before they leave the top of the stack. Because of the additional use of water, the scrubber will produce a noticeable plume of steam.

“It might look like more emissions, but the steam is actually a good sign, indicating that the scrubber is doing its job,” said Steve Reynolds, Capital Projects Manager at the Cheyenne plant.

The scrubber will be carefully lifted into place this month, and will go into service in September. Installing the equipment will be a slow and steady task, with cranes and operators throughout the plant who must coordinate the movement of the 177-foot long device safely through the complex industrial facility.

“This project has been in planning since April 2012,” Reynolds said. “We’ve had about 250 people involved including staff and contractors. We are proud that it will improve our operation, prevent catalyst releases, and even reduce some of the odor.”