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Pre-engineered Components Speed Up Isobutylene Unit Commissioning

Honeywell announced May 17 that Shandong Luqing Petrochemical Co. accepted performance of China’s first standalone Honeywell UOP C4 Oleflex™ process unit, producing 170,000 metric tons per year of isobutylene. The unit, located in Shandong Province on China’s East Coast, will support growing demand for fuel and petrochemicals in China’s industrial sector.

C4 Oleflex process efficiently converts isoubtane to isobutylene.

C4 Oleflex process efficiently converts isoubtane to isobutylene.

“The new unit started up only 20 months after the project kick-off, about a year earlier than a typical project of this size, due to the use of pre-engineered components,” said Mike Millard, vice president and general manager of Honeywell UOP’s Process Technology and Equipment business unit. “This enabled Shandong Luqing to begin producing isobutylene much sooner, greatly improving project economics.”

In addition to licensing, Honeywell UOP provided the engineering design, catalysts, adsorbents, specialty equipment, staff training and technical service for the project.

The C4 Oleflex process uses catalytic dehydrogenation to convert isobutane to isobutylene, the primary ingredient for making high-octane fuel and synthetic rubber used in tires, healthcare supplies and other consumer products. According to Honeywell UOP, the technology consistently delivers superior performance due to its reliability, low energy usage, high isobutylene yields, and a fully recyclable platinum alumina-based catalyst system using proven continuous catalyst regeneration (CCR) technology.

While Shandong Luqing is the first Chinese operator of a standalone Honeywell UOP C4 Oleflex process, the technology is now used in seven plants in the country, with three of them anticipated to start up by the end of 2016.

In addition to the C4 Oleflex process, Honeywell UOP also licenses C3 Oleflex technology, a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) process that converts propane to propylene. Since the Oleflex platform was commercialized in 1990, the company has been selected for 50 units worldwide, including propane (C3), butane (C4) and mixed C3/ C4 service. Shandong Shouguang Luqing Petrochemical Co. is an independent integrated refiner that produces gasoline, liquefied petroleum gas, and the gas additive MTBE.

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Posted by: Rene Gonzalez

Rene G Gonzalez is the Director for and contributing editor for As a chemical engineer (Texas A&M University: 1982), Gonzalez has worked in various engineering capacities throughout the energy industry value chain, primarily in refinery processing and operations.

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