Six students from Woodlawn attended the BP Whiting Refinery trip. The refinery was originally established in 1889 and is one of the largest refineries in the US, processing 450,000 barrels of crude oil a day. After a safety video and safety quiz ("No accidents, no harm to people and no damage to the environment.") we got on a bus and entered an industrial world full of pipes, steam venting, flare stacks, and a whole lot of personal protective equipment. Our guide was one of the chemical engineers who works on the coking units and she pointed out features of interest, explained the production process, and answered our numerous questions.
During our bus tour we saw many of the units at the refinery including pipe stills, a catalytic cracker, alkylation unit, isomerization unit, cokers, and reformers. They are currently doing a lot of construction and it was interesting to compare the old blackened fractionating columns to the shiny new ones. During the tour (this photo is from outside of the plant on the drive home) and we were all amazed at the massive amounts of pipes that run throughout the site.
From left to right in the back Brandon and Mikhal and in the front Semaj, Meghan, Maraquita, Armani, and Tennie. In the background you can see storage tanks for storing crudge oil and/ or the processed products.