Aromatics

Hydrocarbon Processing Awards 2020—FINALISTS

This special section details all finalists within each category for the fourth annual HP Awards. The winners will be announced on Oct. 1.

Catalytic processes operation during downturns in aromatics complexes

Andrews, J., Hung, J., Molinier, M., Lim, Y. T., ExxonMobil Chemical Co.

Paraxylene production is a highly cyclical business that is subject to changes in the global economy and dependent on feedstock costs, alternative dispositions for aromatics, utilities costs and plant locations, among other factors. With the large PX capacity added by recently started crude-to-chemicals complexes and the expected impact of the economic recession on commodities demand, many aromatics complexes face a significant slowdown in the coming months or, possibly, years.

Best practices for aromatics extractive distillation in integrated complexes

Liu, Z., Wang, Y., Zhao, L., Sulzer GTC Technology

Integrated refining/aromatics/olefins complexes are an efficient and effective configuration to maximize crude oil feedstock value and optimize the value of the entire product chain.

Business Trends

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Rovuma LNG, a JV comprised of ExxonMobil, Eni and China National Petroleum Corp., will likely delay its final investment decision (FID) on the group’s $30-B Mozambique LNG project.

Root cause analysis for low yield of p-diethylbenzene produced by catalytic alkylation

Warke, V., Jasra, R. V., Reliance Industries Ltd.

Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) manufactures para-diethylbenzene (PDEB) at one of its plants by alkylation of ethylbenzene (EB) with ethylene, using RIL's own technology and super-selective catalyst.

Circular economy: Getting in the door of opportunity ahead of a vanishing polymer market

Bjacek, P., Accenture

Significant change is coming to the hydrocarbons industry. Up to 43% of the global conventional polymer production expected by 2040 may disappear due to circular economy (CE) initiatives. In addition, due to the growth in wind turbines and solar panels, and in lightweight composite materials in cars and planes, advanced materials waste is just beginning.

A new liquid-phase isomerization process for xylene loop debottleneck and energy savings

Mhatre, S., Warke, V., Reliance Industries Ltd.; Choi, A., Molinier, M., Saple, A., ExxonMobil Chemical Co.

In a typical xylene loop, C8 aromatics are fractionated out of a heavy reformate C8+ aromatics stream and collected in the xylene column overhead. Then, paraxylene (PX) from the C8 aromatics stream is recovered as product—usually by an adsorption or crystallization process—in the PX recovery section.

IMO 2020 stability and compatibility headaches

Curcio, L. E., Barsamian, A., Refinery Automation Institute, LLC

The year 2020 will be a mess from the fuel oil stability and compatibility points of view. The year will be price-driven, so the temptation to “cut corners” is great—meaning that a highly variable number of blend components to manufacture the fuel oil will open a “Pandora’s box” of complex and questionable fuel formulations.

Construction

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Total plans to take a final investment decision (FID) on the Nigeria LNG expansion project by the end of this year. If greenlighted, the 7-MMtpy LNG train would increase the Bonny Island LNG terminal’s capacity to nearly 30 MMtpy. If built, Train 7 is expected to be operational by 2023.

Hydrocarbon Processing Awards Winners

Hydrocarbon Processing, the downstream processing sector’s leading technical publication, has announced the winners for its third annual awards. The HP Awards celebrate innovative technologies and people that have been instrumental in improving facility operations over the past year.