Mitsubishi Power, a power solutions brand under Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), has initiated an energy balance optimization service for Eneos Corporation (Eneos) to facilitate efficient utilization of hydrogen in the petroleum refining process. The service was first implemented at the Eneos Sakai Refinery in Osaka, where MHI deployed its Tomomi suite of intelligent solutions incorporating Energy Cloud, an analysis engine that uses proprietary AI and IoT technologies for forecasting and optimization. The demonstration experiment confirmed positive results for regulating hydrogen production and consumption in the desulfurization stage of oil refining, as well as efficient utilization of by-product hydrogen obtained during the subsequent refining process. Based on this outcome, MHI began providing this solution to Eneos from February 2023.
The refining process for petroleum products such as kerosene and gasoline involves desulfurization using hydrogen to eliminate sulfur present in crude oil. However, the amount of hydrogen required for desulfurization varies depending on the region where the oil was produced, affecting the performance of the treatment facilities. Refineries need sophisticated refining operations, including regulating hydrogen production volume utilizing unused source gas (off-gas), which typically requires the judgement of skilled staff. The application of Tomomi lowers costs, while ensuring the continuation of this advanced operational technology. Additionally, this AI technology can be applied to by-product hydrogen obtained during the oil manufacturing process, with the AI system determining the volume recirculated to the hydrogen production equipment after desulfurization.
The project combines the knowledge acquired from chemical plants and power generation facilities of MHI Group with AI and IoT technologies, and applies it to the upstream fuel supply process in the value chain to optimize operations for facilities overall and reduce CO2 emissions. MHI will provide this service under a subscription-type license agreement, offering an immediate solution service to support energy transition proposals that require infrastructure expansion or development of new technologies.
The Eneos Sakai Refinery, which has acquired Super Certification for high pressure gas from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), utilizes AI and IoT for advanced plant operations. Tomomi’s attributes, particularly its potential to support optimization of facility operations and capacity as a one-stop solutions service, were highly rated by the refinery.
Mitsubishi Power is dedicated to technology development for digitalization and expanded utilization of AI to accelerate the energy transition, which is the growth engine of MHI Group. The group focuses on three measures: decarbonization of existing infrastructure, realization of a hydrogen ecosystem, and realization of a CO2 ecosystem to develop and provide solutions to achieve a carbon-neutral world.