Resource Recovery from Oily Sludge for a Midwestern Refinery

A Missouri refinery has a dominant presence in a small town with a population of only 1,800. Since it employs more than half the people in the area, the company is deeply invested in the community. 

Its involvement in the local Community Advisory Panel (CAP) helps bridge the gap between the refinery and community and offers a way to address refinery and community issues or concerns.

As a member of CAP, reducing the environmental impact of oily sludge at its refinery and long-term risk was an important initiative. Finding a partner with a sustainable oily sludge management solution was crucial.

Maximizing Value Through Oily and Non-Oily Streams Management

With a total capacity of over 330,000 barrels per day, the operator maximized potential cost savings by allowing Veolia to manage both its oily and non-oily streams.  Veolia operates and maintains their oily sludge process.

Under a multi-year agreement, Veolia operates recycling equipment that recovers oil and separates solids from primary wastewater sludge, processes secondary wastewater, and dewaters both cold and hot lime solids. To maximize uptime and ensure continued operations, Veolia runs at least two of the four oily sludge management facilities at all times.


“… the team is reducing the amount of oil-bearing solids that are sent to a landfill … and maximizing operational uptime for our client.”

How the Resource Recovery Process Works

Veolia installed processing equipment within the refinery's four facilities selected for the specific feed streams of the refinery.

Veolia manages the oily sludge streams by recovering quality oil and water along with a dry solid. The solids recovered from the process are then prepared for reuse in the refining process via the coker quench cycle. The non-oily residuals are processed resulting in a dry solid cake for offsite disposal.

Circular Economy-Driven Results

As an efficient and results-driven company, the refinery needs guaranteed uptime and proven value. As responsible members of the community, team members need to monitor the company’s oily sludge stream and demonstrate its contributions to a circular economy. Both are reflected in Veolia’s monthly project management reports detailing key performance indicators including:

  • Safety performance
  • Daily production
  • Quality of return effluents
  • Quality of cake (non-hazardous) for offsite disposal

Operating behind the fence and under the watchful gaze of community groups like CAP, the team is reducing the amount of solids that are sent to a landfill by processing the material for beneficial reuse, and maximizing operational uptime for our client. This circular solution positively impacts the operator by allowing the refining expert to focus on what they do best, while also reducing the company's environmental footprint.

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