UOP HF Alkylation improves gasoline quality by adding clean-burning, mid-boiling-range isoparaffins and reducing gasoline pool vapor pressure and olefin content by conversion of C3 – C5 olefin components to alkylate.
The alkylation reaction catalytically combines C3 – C5 olefins with isobutane to produce motor-fuel alkylate. Alkylation takes place in the presence of HF catalyst under conditions selected to maximize alkylate yield and quality.
UOP offers two configurations. Both ensure efficient contacting and mixing of hydrocarbon feed with the acid catalyst. Our gravity flow design provides good mixing without the need for a catalyst circulation pump. The forced circulation design reduces acid inventory and reaction vessel elevations.
Acid regeneration occurs in the acid regenerator or via a patented internal-acid-regeneration method. Internal regeneration allows the refiner to shutdown the acid regenerator, thereby realizing a utility savings as well as reducing acid consumption and eliminating polymer disposal.
Feed: Alkylation feedstocks are typically treated to remove sulfur and water. In cases where MTBE and TAME raffinates are still being processed, an oxygenate removal unit (ORU) may be desirable.
Selective hydrogenation of butylene feedstock is recommended to reduce acid regeneration requirements, catalyst (acid) consumption and increase alkylate octane by isomerizing 1-butene to 2-butene.
Efficiency: HF Alkylation remains the most economically viable method for the production of alkylate. The acid consumption rate for HF Alkylation is less than 1/100th the rate for sulfuric alkylation units. And unlike sulfuric alkylation units, HF Alkylation does not require refrigeration equipment to maintain a low reactor temperature.