April 2007

Special Report: Petrochemical Developments

Upgrade treatment operations for aromatics units

New catalytic pretreatment process removes troublesome olefinic materials, thus improving quality of aromatic streams

Kerze, A. D., Kinn, T. F., ExxonMobil Chemical Technology Licensing LLC; Sato, T., Nippon Petroleum Refining Co. Ltd.

In a typical petrochemical facility using an adsorption process for paraxylene separation and a liquid-liquid extraction process for benzene and toluene production, there are at least two treater units to reduce the olefin contaminants, or Bromine Index (BI). One unit is located upstream of the xylene fractionation tower to reduce the BI before the C8 aromatics stream enters the adsorption unit. The other unit is downstream of the extaction unit before the fractionation section. Traditional treater units use acid-activated clay (Fig. 1). In 2003, a new pretreatment technology that uses a proprietary catalyst to remove olefinic materials was developed. This new process uses the same mechanism

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