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World’s first solid acid catalyst alkylation unit starts up in China

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Energy Global,

The world’s first commercial scale, solid acid catalyst alkylation unit was started up on 18 August at Zibo Haiyi Fine Chemical Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of Shandong Wonfull Petrochemical Group Co. Ltd (Wonfull). The unit employs CB&I’s breakthrough AlkyClean® technology, jointly developed by CB&I, Albemarle Corp. and Neste Corp. The unit has a capacity of 2700 bpd of alkylate production (100 000 tpy).

The unit located in Zibo, Shandong Province, Peoples Republic of China, has achieved all performance expectations thus far. Since the startup, the alkylate product has demonstrated excellent quality, including an octane value (RON) between 96 and 98 – a considerably higher RON than typical alkylate products. RON is considered an indicator of the alkylate’s value as a gasoline blending component.

AlkyClean technology uses Albemarle’s AlkyStar® catalyst, a robust fixed bed zeolite catalyst. By pairing this catalyst with CB&I’s novel reactor scheme, the AlkyClean process is able to produce a high quality alkylate product without the use of liquid acid catalysts typical of other alkylation technologies, which makes the process inherently safer. Without the need for post treatment, and the elimination of waste streams such as acid soluble oils, the AlkyClean process offers a more efficient technology for the production of alkylate.

The safe and successful startup of this unit is a milestone, and would not have been possible without the strong collaboration between CB&I, Albemarle and Wonfull.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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