Improving quality and reducing emissions
AAK Colombia has been finding better ways to measure
and improve the performance of its refinery. In
doing so, it has also been able to enhance product
quality and – crucially – reduce GHG emissions.
At AAK Colombia, we understand “refinement”. While on
one hand this relates directly to the industrial process
we manage, it also refers to our ongoing commitment
for improvement on the other. In particular, over the
last year we started to examine the performance of our
boiler. In doing so we began to find small issues that,
although only minor, we knew could be addressed to
give a higher quality production outcome.
Finding the trend
Working closely with our Maintenance department, we
discovered an unusual trend with the gas supply to our
As shown here, the gas supply was oscillating with
too much time in high flame and too many troughs down
to zero. We knew that this temperature fluctuation would
affect product quality. Furthermore, the subsequent
production inefficiency would also be represented in our
KPI indicator (around 13 m3 natural gas/ton product)
and in our daily gas consumption, which had risen
above normal levels of 2,000 m3.
An impressive result
Fixing this issue by making the gas supply more
constant would not only reduce gas consumption,
but also reduce the amount of GHG emissions (by
improving fuel efficiency and the stability of the burning
process). We took action and the results can be seen in
the graph below.
We achieved a reduction to 9 m3 natural gas/MT
product and an average gas consumption of 1,400 m3
per day. This represents an impressive saving of about
50 kg of CO2 every month.
However, for us this isn’t good enough! We are now
looking to achieve an even steadier process. This can
be made possible by the replacement of our burner for
one that controls the process in a modulating manner.
If all goes to plan, we hope to additionally improve the
process by a minimum of 10 percent.
Gas supply with significant flow variations
Gas supply with more stable and efficient flow