June 2015

Special Report: Process/Plant Optimization

Alkylating refinery-grade propylene offers processing opportunities

The propylene in this stream from FCC and coking units can be combined with isobutane in an alkylation unit to yield a high-value gasoline blending component—alkylate.

Refinery-grade propylene (a propylene/propane mix) is produced in fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) and coking units. The propylene in this stream can be combined with isobutane in an alkylation unit to yield a high-value gasoline blending component—alkylate. Alternatively, this material is sold, where it is often fractionated in an on-purpose facility to yield high-purity propylene that is subsequently used to manufacture a variety of petrochemicals including polypropylene, cumene, isopropanol, acrylonitrile, propylene oxide and epichlorohydrin. Changing feedstocks. There has been a significant shift from naphtha to ethane as feed to North American ethylene units, due to rising NGL pro

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