UOP licenses production technology to isobutylene, butane project in China

Honeywell’s UOP said Wednesday its technology has been selected to help produce key ingredients for fuels, synthetic rubber and plastics in China.

China’s Heilongjiang Anruijia Petrochemical Co. will use the UOP C4 Oleflex process to produce isobutylene, a key ingredient for fuels and synthetic rubber.

The company will also use UOP’s Butamer process to produce normal butane, a feedstock used to produce ethylene, a building block for plastics.

“In order to meet domestic demand for fuels, plastics and other key materials, China is rapidly emerging as one of the largest petrochemical producers in Asia,” said Pete Piotrowski, senior vice president and general manager of UOP’s process technology and equipment business.

“Over the past two years, UOP has licensed technology in China to produce more than 4 million metric tons of certain key petrochemicals, and we look forward to continuing to provide efficient, cost-effective technology solutions to support the country’s growth.”

The new units, expected to start up in 2014, will produce 180,000 tpy of isobutylene and 150,000 tpy of normal butane at its facility in Heilongjiang Province, China.

This will be the first facility in China to dedicate a process unit for isobutylene production using the C4 Oleflex process, and the first to license the Butamer process to produce normal butane.

UOP says it will also provide the engineering design, technology licensing, catalysts, adsorbents, equipment, staff training and technical service for the project.

The C4 Oleflex process uses catalytic dehydrogenation to convert isobutane to isobutylene. Compared with competing processes, UOP says the Oleflex technology offers the lowest cash cost of production, the highest return on investment and the smallest environmental footprint.

Meanwhile, the Butamer process uses high-activity, chloride-promoted catalysts in the presence of hydrogen to convert isobutane to normal butane. When used in a steam cracker, normal butane is the preferred feedstock to maximize ethylene yields.

To date, Honeywell’s UOP has commissioned two Butamer units to produce normal butane and another 75 units to convert normal butane to isobutane.

Heilongjiang Anruijia Petrochemical Co. is private company that focuses on liquid petroleum gas (LPG) trading throughout China and is headquartered in Heilongjiang Province, China.

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