Reducing, Reusing, Recycling and Repurposing

For Valero, being the most efficient and reliable operator in a highly competitive industry means being a better environmental performer.

  • Flare-Gas Recovery Systems Resulted in More Than 96% Flaring-Free Operations: In 2022, nearly 80% of Valero’s large process flares were equipped with flare-gas recovery systems. These systems reduce flaring and air pollution, and recover fuel gases, which are used to fire heaters and boilers, reducing natural gas consumption.
  • Sulfur Removal: Sulfur recovered in refining processes is used for a variety of beneficial purposes, including crop fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, detergents and cosmetics. Sulfuric acid is also critical for the extraction of nickel, cobalt and rare earth minerals from their ores.
  • Marine Vapor Recovery Units: At certain refineries, captured vapors generated when loading vessels with gasoline and other light products are routed back to the refinery for reprocessing.
  • Fuel from Oil Waste: Our high-conversion refineries are capable of upgrading oil waste into high-value fuel and products.
  • Wastewater Management: Process water and stormwater are managed at our wastewater treatment plants. We use bacteria to naturally digest oil and treat wastewater streams to clean the water before returning it to the ecosystem. As part of our environmental management system, we have an effluent management policy that complies with environmental laws, including managing and reducing effluents, monitoring and measurement of effluents, incident investigation and corrective actions, as well as extensive reporting of effluent issues.
  • Energy Efficiency Initiatives: We prioritize improvements in process monitoring and control systems to reduce energy consumption, which in turn reduces costs and carbon emissions.
  • Repurposing of Material Recovered from Tank Cleaning: Recovered material is reprocessed in our refineries and upgraded to fuels and other products or used as fuel at third-party facilities, avoiding landfill waste.
  • Water Recycling: With innovative approaches, we use each gallon of water on average more than 16 times prior to evaporation or return to the environment.
  • Recycling Exhaust Gases to Reduce Energy Consumption: Installed at six of our refineries, expanders use exhaust gases to drive turbines, converting kinetic energy into electricity and reducing demand on local grids.
  • Heat Transfer: Heat integration technology is used in our refineries to pair high-temperature streams that require cooling with lower-temperature streams that require heating to facilitate heat transfer and reduce energy consumption.

Carbon Capture: More Than One Million Tones of Carbon Dioxide

Carbon-capture technology recovers carbon dioxide that otherwise would go into the atmosphere and concentrates it for reuse. In 2013, Valero’s Port Arthur refinery became the first industrial site in the U.S. to host a large-scale carbon-sequestration project, and it remains the only U.S. refinery doing so, with more than 1 million tons captured each year.

Two steam methane reformer units, owned by a business partner that produces hydrogen for the refinery from natural gas, were retrofitted to capture the carbon dioxide produced in the process of making hydrogen.

Large-Scale Carbon Capture and Storage

The project involves capturing high-concentration CO2 streams produced in the fermentation process at eight of our ethanol plants

Carbon capture, transportation, and storage infographic

The removal of CO2 from our ethanol plants has the potential to further reduce the carbon intensity of ethanol by more than 40% and make ethanol more valuable in low-carbon fuel markets. With startup activities expected to begin in late 2024, Valero's goal is to be the anchor shipper, with eight of its ethanol plants connected to the 1,300-mile carbon capture pipeline across five U.S. Midwest states.








Map is indicative only. Exact pipeline route subject to change.