To produce ethylbenzene (EB) from benzene and a polymer grade ethylene or an ethylene/ethane feedstock using the Badger EBMax* process and proprietary ExxonMobil alkylation and transalkylation catalysts. The technology can be applied in the design of grassroots units, upgrading of existing vapor-phase technology plants, or conversion of aluminum chloride technology EB plants to zeolite technology.
Ethylene reacts with benzene in either a totally liquid-filled or mixed-phase alkylation reactor (1) containing multiple fixed-beds of ExxonMobil’s proprietary catalyst, forming EB and very small quantities of polyethylbenzenes. In the transalkylation reactor (2), polyethylbenzenes are converted to EB by reaction with benzene over ExxonMobil’s transalkylation catalyst.
Effluents from the alkylation and transalkylation reactors are fed to the benzene column (3), where unreacted benzene is recovered from crude EB. The fresh benzene feedstock and a small vent stream from the benzene column are fed to the lights column (4) to reject light impurities. The lights column bottoms is returned to the benzene column. The bottoms from the benzene column is fed to the EB column (5) to recover EB product. The bottoms from the EB column is fed to the PEB column (6) where polyethylbenzenes are recovered as a distillate, and heavy compounds are rejected in a bottoms stream that can be used as fuel.
Catalysts: Cycle lengths in excess of four years are expected for the alkylation and transalkylation catalysts. Process equipment is fabricated entirely from carbon steel. Capital investment is reduced as a consequence of the high activity and extraordinary selectivity of the alkylation catalyst and the ability of both the alkylation and transalkylation catalysts to operate with very low quantities of excess benzene.
Licensor: Badger Licensing LLC