Crude Distillation Unit (CDU)

In petroleum refining, the Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) (typically referred to as the Atmospheric Distillation Unit) is normally the first processing tools by which crude oil is fed. Once within the CDU, crude oil is distilled into various products, like naphtha, kerosene, and diesel, that then serve as feedstocks for all different processing units at the refinery.[1,2]

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As oil is being fed into the CDU, the very first thing that happens is the crude is heated to a temperature between 215 and 280°F (one hundred -137°C).[2] This allows salts, which could be harmful to some equipment, to be removed at the desalter.[1,2] The now desalted crude continues by means of the system into the heater where it is additional heated to a temperature of over 650°F (350°C).[1,2] Subsequent, it is fed into the atmospheric column where the vapors and liquids separate.[2,3] Residues are stripped out at the underside of the column. The merchandise (naphtha, kerosene, diesel and gas oil) are taken from the facet of the column and moved by the refinery for additional processing.[2,3]–learning/classroom–learning-sources/studying-centre/how-it-works—the-refining-process/first-step-distillation.aspx

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