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Petroleum refining and associated downstream hydrocarbon processing operations are challenged on the one hand by the tightening product specifications and shifting crude quality on the other forcing an increased proportion of heavy and sour crudes. Regulatory specifications for products as well as process effluents are getting stringent over the years necessitating utmost optimization at every stage in refining operations while still retaining the industry commitment to economically provide hydrocarbon based fuel and feedstock and meet the increasing needs of the growing global population. All around awareness of environmental degradation caused by industrial activities in the hydrocarbon processing sector, on account of greenhouse gas emissions, stratospheric ozone depletion, acid rain and acidification, eutrophication, soil contamination, technological hazards, chemical mists and fog, all with potential damage to human beings, is indeed a topic of much discussions at both national as well as international forums.
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