Increasingly stringent regulations on aromatics in motor fuels will put tremendous pressure on refiners to cope with the surplus of aromatics. This situation will become particularly serious after the year 2005 when further reductions of aromatics in gasoline will come into force which can no longer be compensated for by simple process adjustments. A different process portfolio along with new catalyst solutions is required to cope with the future aromatics scenario. SUD-CHEMIE provides a great selection of zeolite based catalysts to the petroleum industry. This paper highlights four zeolites based catalysts and processes, respectively, that help the industry to convert aromatics to high value products or upgrade low value aromatics to valuable chemical intermediates.
C5/C6 paraffin isomerization is a preferred process option to give refiners a relief on aromatics in gasoline.
The zeolitic HYSOPAR® catalyst can stand higher sulfur levels than conventional catalysts and converts benzene into other valuable gasoline components without sacrificing too much of octane.
Pyrolysis gasoline will be a real burden in the future. However, it can be converted to high value paraffinic steam cracker feed with the ARINO process which is distinguished by 1st stage aromatics hydrogenation followed by zeolitic cracking and ring opening of naphthenes to paraffins in the 2nd stage. ARINO is a joint development of LINDE, SUD-CHEMIE and VEBA.
Highly aromatic but low cetane middle distillates such as LCO can effectively be upgraded to valuable diesel blend stocks with the ASAT® catalyst that provides HDAr along with HDS and HDN functions. Its sulfur tolerance (500 ppm) makes ASAT® ideally suited for low cost 2-stage processing based on existing equipment.
Upgrading of BTX aromatics to make chemical intermediates is gaining momentum in light of the expected up-cycle of the petrochemical industry around 2003. The zeolite based ISOXYL catalysts allow for more efficient p-xylene production with minimized xylene losses and by-product formation at higher space velocity than competitive catalysts.
Based on its technological background and strong focus on zeolite catalysts, SUD-CHEMIE will continue to work on zeolite catalyst solutions for the refining and petrochemical industries. These include processes for environmentally friendly synfuels, free of aromatics, and alternative routes to make chemical intermediates such as olefins without aromatics as by-products.
The following is an attempt to give an overview on some of the most versatile processes and dropin catalyst solutions to resolve issues in connection with aromatics in the oil refining and petrochemical industries. The primary goal is to make economic use of aromatics by upgrading them to valuable streams rather than dumping aromatics into low val