The a-Sablin process produces α-olefins such as butene-1, hexane-1, octene-1 decene-1, etc. from ethylene in a homogenous catalytic reaction. The process is based on a highly active bifunctional catalyst system operating at mild reaction conditions with highest selectivities to α-olefins.
Ethylene is compressed (6) and introduced to a bubble-column type reactor (1) in which a homogenous catalyst system is introduced together with a solvent. The gaseous products leaving the reactor overhead are cooled in a cooler (2) and cooled in a gas-liquid separator for reflux (3) and further cooled (4) and separated in a second gas-liquid separator (5).
Unreacted ethylene from the separator (5) is recycled via a compressor (6) and a heat exchanger (7) together with ethylene makeup to the reactor. A liquid stream is withdrawn from the reactor (1) containing liquid a-olefins and catalyst, which is removed by the catalyst removal unit (8). The liquid stream from the catalyst removal unit (8) is combined with the liquid stream from the primary separation (5). These combined liquid streams are routed to a separation section in which, via a series of columns (9), the α-olefins are separated into the individual components.
By varying the catalyst components ratio, the product mixture can be adjusted from light products (butene-1, hexene-1, octene-1, decene-1) to heavier products (C12 to C20 α-olefins). Typical yield for light olefins is over 85 wt% with high purities that allow typical product applications. The light products show excellent properties as comonomers in ethylene polymerization.
Licensor: The technology is jointly licensed by Linde AG and SABIC