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IsoA technology on hand to help refiners

Mar 11, 2018
2 min read
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Koch-Glitsch and INVISTA Performance Technologies (IPT), affiliates of Koch Industries, have expanded their partnership to offer IsoA technology allowing refineries to transform low value, light paraffinic feeds into high-octane gasoline blend stock.

The IsoA process technology Isomerizes and Aromatizes C5 to C7+ paraffins simultaneously boosting the octane, reducing the RVP and significantly increasing the value of these light feeds.
“Today’s market is long in these low-octane, light paraffinic streams and short in high-octane blend stock,” said Christoph Ender, Koch-Glitsch vice-president of sales and marketing. “This technology can shift that balance and generate greater value for refineries.”

Commercially demonstrated in six refineries, the IsoA technology can deliver an 85 per cent C5+ liquid yield with a typical octane boost of 20-25 points. The process reduces sulphur content more than 90 per cent, generating a product with less than 10 ppm sulphur from a feed with less than 150 ppm. While the technology aromatizes the paraffinic feed, the catalyst is optimised to minimise benzene formation — typically achieving less than 1 per cent in the blend stock product.

This low CAPEX, low pressure process has a small footprint and utilizes standard refinery equipment, such as fixed-bed reactors, absorption and separation columns. The heterogeneous catalyst is sulfur tolerant and eliminates the hydrotreating process required for conventional isomerization processes. Recycle gas is not required, therefore maintenance and energy intensive hydrogen compression, required by the conventional isomerization process, is eliminated as well. The process can be further optimized with a boost in octane and a reduction in operating cost by co-feeding olefin-containing LPG.

“This is an exciting technology to add to our expanding refinery portfolio that addresses an unmet market need,” said Mike Massa, INVISTA Performance Technology licensing director. “As the oil industry produces and processes more light, tight oils, the glut of this low value, paraffinic feed stream is expected to increase globally. Our IsoA technology creates an attractive alternative for this stream.”

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