BASF recently announced the launch of Evolve™, a proprietary new Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) additive designed for butylene selectivity. Evolve provides measurable improvements in butylene yields while preserving unit conversion and valuable fuels yields when compared to existing technologies. Refiners worldwide are facing the effects of tightening fuel regulations as stricter sulfur fuels standards continue to be implemented globally.
In 2017, U.S. Tier 3 standards limiting the gasoline pool sulfur content to 10 ppm went into effect. China also implemented similar standards in 2017. In the EU, the 10 ppm requirement for gasoline became effective in 2009. Compliance with tighter sulfur requirements often led to octane loss by as much as 2 units. This is why high-octane alkylate has become a preferred gasoline blending component as it contains no sulfur, no olefins, no benzene, and has a low vapor pressure. As a result, many refiners focus on maximization of alkylate production, but struggle due to a butylene shortage, which is important for keeping refineries operating as profitable as possible.
To deal with butylene deficits, BASF designed the FCC additive for butylene selectivity, providing measurable improvements in butylene yields while preserving unit conversion and valuable fuels yields when compared to existing technologies. With long-term global fuel demand expected to favor clean, low-sulfur fuels and increasing use of high compression engines requiring higher octane gasoline, Evolve enables refineries to optimize the alkylation plant by increasing selectivity for butylene over propylene compared to conventional olefins additives.
Refineries benefit from both the output of butylene and low sulfur, high-octane gasoline. “BASF’s solution provides an effective means for refineries with gas plant constraints to optimize their alkylation unit feedstock,” said Jim Chirumbole, Vice President, BASF Refining Catalysts.