The sulfolane extractive distillation (SED) process uses a complex solvent system composed of sulfolane (as the main solvent) and a co-solvent. The SED process can be used to recover high-purity benzene or benzene and toluene from hydrocarbon mixtures such as hydrogenated pyrolysis gasoline, reformate or coal tar oil.
A typical SED unit mainly consists of an extractive distillation column and a solvent recovery column. The hydrocarbon feed is separated into non-aromatics and aromatics products through extractive distillation with the solvent. For the benzene-recovery case, benzene is directly produced from the SED unit. For the benzene and toluene recovery case, pure benzene and pure toluene are produced from the aromatics product of the SED unit through downstream fractionation.
The SED process uses sulfolane as the main selective solvent in which a co-solvent is added. The unique solvent system, accurate simulator, optimized process scheme, reliable and economical equipment design, advanced and reasonable control strategy ensure that the SED technology can provide these superior benefits:
• Good processing flexibility; able to handle feedstocks including hydrogenated pyrolysis gasoline, coal tar oil and reformate
• High product quality and high recovery
• Low capital investment and low operating costs—about 30% lower than sulfolane liquid-liquid aromatics extraction process
• Extra-low solvent consumption—about 70% lower than sulfolane liquid-liquid aromatics extraction process.
Licensor: China Petrochemical Technology Co., Ltd.