September 2006

Special Report: Refining Developments

Consider catalyst developments for alkylation production

Catalyst service-life determines the economic viability of solid-acid alkylation processes

Mukherjee, M., Nehlsen, J., Exelus, Inc.

Replacing high-risk toxic liquid acids, such as hydrofluoric (HF) and sulfuric acid (H2SO4) with benign solid-acid catalysts is a challenging goal for isoparaffin alkylation technology, due to rapid catalyst deactivation. Key to the economic viability of solid-acid catalyzed paraffin alkylation process is adequate catalyst stability, which can be quantified using a catalyst stability parameter (SP). This parameter is readily determined from laboratory data. To compete favorably with liquid-acid catalyzed alkylation processes, solid-acids processes must have SP > 0.002. However, most solid-acid catalysts (SACs) have SP values that are significantly lower. Alkylate demand is rising. Recen

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