As a member of several communities across the western United States, it’s our business at Andeavor to provide the fuel and foundational products that keep people and the economy moving. We also focus on keeping these communities clean – after all, they’re our homes, too. So, we’re continually evaluating and investing in technology and systems that support safe, reliable and clean operations. By doing this, we help protect and preserve the environment, which is good for everyone.
One example is at our Salt Lake City Refinery. Recently, we installed a wet gas scrubber, which is a highly efficient air pollution control device. Outside the Refinery, it appears as a tall silver tower that emits a billowy white water vapor. We’ve produced a short video that helps explain how it works and why it’s a significant addition to our facility.
Utilizing this best-in-class technology is particularly important to Salt Lake City because the area is surrounded by mountains and experiences winter inversions, a unique weather condition that can trap emissions lower to the ground. The wet gas scrubber cleans the air from our refining processes by using a water mist spray to capture sulfur and dust particles. Instead of being released into the air, these particles stay in the Refinery’s system for further treatment and recovery. The cloud that leaves the scrubber’s stack is heated water in the form of vapor – simply put, it’s steam.
The wet gas scrubber reduces the Refinery’s particulate emissions to virtually zero, while sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide levels are cut by 95 percent and 60 percent, respectively, over pre-scrubber levels.
Installing the wet gas scrubber is just one example of the investments we’ve made at our Salt Lake City Refinery over the past few years. Additionally, we are well underway on another important project that will help improve air quality in the region by allowing us to produce lower sulfur Tier 3 gasoline for our customers.
Across our refining system, we use and focus on continually improving procedures, programs, tools and systems that not only help us comply with existing regulations, but allow us to reduce our environmental footprint. In fact, we achieved a 17 percent reduction in all air emissions from our facilities from 2014-2016.
At Andeavor, we believe that exceptional impacts result from thoughtful improvements every day. It’s our promise to deliver ever-greater value for all of our stakeholders – including protecting the health and safety of our people, focusing on environmental sustainability, and investing in the communities where we live and work.