February 2014

Special Report: Clean Fuels

Improve the isomerization of alkanes by catalytic distillation

The isomerization of light gasoline fractions is crucial to producing high-octane fuels and to reducing the benzene content in gasoline. One of the most promising options for isomerization is catalytic distillation.

Requirements for motor gasoline are tightened for both operational and environmental parameters. The Euro-5 and MSAT-2 standards limit the benzene content of gasoline to 1 vol% for Euro-5 and 0.62% for MSAT-2. Accordingly, the isomerization of light gasoline fractions is crucial to producing high-octane fuels and to reducing the benzene content in gasoline.1, 2 Existing isomerization technologies, to achieve high-octane numbers, recycle unreacted components to maximize conversion. This solution involves additional process equipment to sustain the needed reactions such as distillation columns to separate high-octane isoparaffins from normal paraffins and the isomerization reactor.3 Accordi

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