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A S Jessup-Bould

Benzol and Tar Refinery Design and Commissioning Experience







Benzol and tar refinery





Zimchem; Zimbabwe



1989 / 1990

Process design team member for new benzol refinery contract.


Shift Commissioning Engineer & responsible for training of local plant personnel.










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Summary of Process



Benzol Refinery: Crude benzol is supplied to the plant via pipeline from the adjacent coke works and by rail tanker from elsewhere. The benzol is processed by various stages of distillation and acid washing to produce Benzene, Toluene, Xylene and Solvent Naphthas.

Tar Refinery: Crude Tar is supplied to the plant via pipeline from the adjacent coke works and by rail tankers from elsewhere. The tar is distilled using pitch as the heating medium and further fractionated to produce a range of intermediate and final products. Intermediate products undergo blending and reactions to produce further final coal tar products.




Specific Responsibilities






  • Process Design Engineer (TXNR Distillation and other areas).
  • Precommissioning of Benzol and Tar Refineries.
  • Commissioning Engineer for the Benzol Refinery.
  • Training of Supervisory and Plant Personnel.



















  • Successful completion of a technologically advanced project in a developing country.







Materials of Construction

Mainly carbon steel.


Documents Produced

Calculations (Hysim, STX).

Mass & Energy balances.


Process & Instrument Data Sheets.

Operator Training Manual.


Highly flammable materials.

Carcinogenic material (Benzene, PAHs).

Corrosive materials (Oleum, H2SO4, NaOH).

Rail tanker handling.


OSC construction & commissioning teams.

Client's management, operators and maintenance personnel.

Subcontractor site support personnel.