April 2007

Special Report: Petrochemical Developments

Improve naphtha quality for olefins cracking

Integrating an economy-of-scale extraction unit can yield naphtha suitable for ethylene production

Bhirud, V. L., Ethylene Consultants

Over 50% of the world's ethylene capacity is naphtha based. As crude prices increase, so does the cost of naphtha for liquid crackers. Ethylene producers shun naphtha feedstocks containing high-aromatics content. Aromatics provide no net value to the cracking process. Integrating an aromatics-extraction unit with a naphtha hydrotreater can remove the problematic aromatics from heavy feedstreams. Pretreating off-grade naphtha can yield a high-quality feed for liquid olefins crackers. Feed of choice. For ethylene cracking, one of the most important issues is feedstock selection.1 Ethylene crackers are designed for feed flexibility so that they can process a predefined range of feedstocks. Si

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