Petrochemical are the raw material of petroleum or other hydrocarbon origin. Petrochemical are mainly
derived from petroleum sources, such as oil and natural gas.
World production of ethylene is around 110 million tonnes per annum, of propylene 65 million tonnes,
and of aromatic raw materials 70 million tonnes. Through this we can find out how important is the
petrochemicals and their Producer
Petrochemical engineer are those who are expertise in applying scientific and mathematical principles in
developing processes. Petrochemical engineer are analytical, creative and innovative thinkers with
excellent problem solving skills. They have the ability to work as a team with people from various
They extract existing data and design methods to design products, petroleum energy derivatives and
operating specifications for industrial plants. They take into account cost, safety and environmental
concerns when conducting research and performing task.
ROLE OF PETROCHEMICAL ENGINEER IN PETROCHEMICAL
The role of petrochemical engineer may focus on one or more of the following; Researching new
products from trial through to commercialization; managing scale-up processes from plant to full
industrial-scale manufacturing; improving product lines; modifying the processing plant that produces
the products; and designing and commissioning new plants. Some of their detailed work is given below:-
Design and operating process for commercial product
A Petrochemical engineer develops economical industrial processes to make the huge range of products
on which modern society depends, including: fuel; artificial fibres; pharmaceuticals; chemicals and
plastics. From different process petrochemical engineer made a very wide range of chemicals and other
materials to regenerate them used in industry - monomers, solvents, detergents, and adhesives.
Process that takes place in a petrochemical engineering
Mainly is the cracking process use in industy which means to break a larger molecule into smaller ones
and byproduct. Some cracking process are:
• Fluid catalytic cracking
Fluid catalytic cracking is a process of breaking down the larger, heavier
and more complex hydrocarbon molecules into single and lighter molecule using fluid bed catalyst. It is
commonly used process where gasoline is required.
• Hydro cracking
Hydro cracking is a catalytic cracking process assisted by the presence of an elevated partial pressure of
hydrogen gas. The function of hydrogen is the purification of the hydrocarbon stream from sulphur. It is
mainly used where the demand of diesel is larger.
• Steam cracking
Steam cracking is a petrochemical process in which saturated hydrocarbons are broken using steams. It
is commonly used for producing the lighter alkenes including ethene and propene. In steam cracking, a
gaseous or liquid hydrocarbon feed like naphtha, LPG or ethane is diluted with steam and briefly heated
in a furnace without the presence of oxygen.
• Thermal Cracking
Thermal cracking is a process used to break up heavy oil molecules into lighter more valuable fraction
by the use of high temperature without the aid of catalyst.
A Petrochemical engineer works in the process field on various different stages, i.e.
• reviewing data to see if more research and information needed;
• designing and installing new production unit, monitoring and upgrading the processes;
• preparing reports, flow diagrams and charts;
Management of industrial plant and sizing of equipment
Engineer work on the field localizing the space for plant and instrument to be shifted according
to their need and use the equipment as per required. Basically in every industry there is a cost
management process to overcome the capital cost in the return of interest and for it the engineer
surpress the need of solvent by usig different equipments.
A petrochemical engineer select the appropriate techniques and sequence of events for a
particular project in sizing the equipment and plantation.
Heat Exchanger Distillation Tower
Fuel Tanks Pipe and Valve
Instrumentation of equipments
Petrochemical engineer is responsible for designing, developing, installing, managing and/or
maintaining equipment which is used to monitor and control engineering systems, machinery. The main
objective of the work of petrochemical engineer is to ensure that these systems and processes operate
effectively, efficiently and safely.
Designs plants and equipments configuration so that they can be readily adapted to suit the product
range and the process technologies involved, taking environmental and economic aspects into account;
Maintaining machines and plant operation
Petrochemical engineers plan the routine maintenance of equipment and machinery. They work on-site
or remotely diagnosing faults and overseeing time-critical repairs. Petrochemical engineers use
sophisticated, computerized systems to schedule the work.
The activities of a
Petrochemical engineer are,
• controlling maintenance tools, stores and equipment;
• monitoring and controlling maintenance costs;
• designing maintenance strategies, procedures and methods;
• diagnosing breakdown problems;
Economic evaluation of project and labour
A petrochemical engineer,
• Generates a set of projects or purchases for investment consideration,
• Establish the planning horizon for economic analysis,
• Estimate the cash flow profile for each project,
• Accept or reject a proposal on the basis of the established criterion.
A petrochemical engineer’s job is to organize his/her department and employees, visualize future
impacts and needs, energize the employees to get their tasks done
Although economic evaluations approach costs in a common format, they differ in the way they
approach benefits. These differences play a critical role in developing criteria in petrochemical industry.
Design and operate of environmental control system
Environmental control engineering may be defined as the use of engineering and scientific principles for
the improvement of the built and natural environment.
Petrochemical engineers practice the science of environmental sustainability. Petrochemical engineers
understand the environmental impact of many pollutions sources such as Carbon dioxide (CO2) and
industrial emissions Gases from manufacturing.
Quality assurance for process and products
Quality assurance (QA) aims to ensure that the product or service an industry provides is fit for its
purpose and meets customer expectations. A Petrochemical engineer co-ordinate the activities required
to meet this aim. The Petrochemical engineer monitors and advises on how the quality management
system is performing and publishes data and reports regarding company performance against set
•ensuring compliance with national and international standards and legislation;
•promoting quality achievement and performance improvement throughout the process;
Supervising the operation
A petrochemical engineer as a supervisor is first and foremost an overseer whose main responsibility is
to ensure that a group of subordinates get out the assigned amount of production, when they are
supposed to do it and within acceptable levels of quality, costs and safety. In particular, the supervisor
can have a significant effect on how effectively their staff perform as a team.
general house keeping and continual improvement activities;
reallocating tasks or rescheduling production, where necessary.
The responsibility they carry varies with the situation. In some cases they may have to take technical
decisions on a regular basis, whereas in others they may call upon maintenance or other technical staff
for backup when necessary.
A Petrochemical engineer investigates, plans and manages proposals to either build new developments
or organise the regeneration of existing plant. Surveying and development takes into account both the
physical and social impact of the built environment and the commercial viability of any proposals.
The exact nature of a engineer is their working activities as surveyor i.e.
• ensuring that the production is cost effective.
• advising on procurement strategy;
• understanding the implications of health and safety regulations;
This is a petrochemical engineer who works in the petrochemical industry perform various tasks and
operation with his/her staff and faculty members, without it the valuable and useful product from Raw
material can’t be in progress.
A Petrochemical engineer has a precise nature. Anything that is scientific warrants preciseness by those
working in this field. A petrochemical engineer is no different. Since the engineers are using various
types of sciences to complete their job, it is important that they are precise. Not only will this make their
job easier but it will also make it less likely that they make a mistake in the calculations and the final
product as a result thereof.
The industry has made great strides in controlling unwanted emissions; compared with other resource
industries due to a petrochemical engineer, its emissions are low per unit of output.