Preliminar concept of a reaction system for alkylation of isobutane on a solid catalyst

  • Hernando Salgado Ecopetrol S.A.
Keywords: Process Design, Solid Acid, Structured Catalyst, Refining Processes


In oil refineries alkylation of isobutane with olefins, especially buthylenes, is carried out to produce alkylate, a high-octane component used in the preparation of premium gasolines. Alkylate production is mainly based on processes where the catalyst is a strong liquid acid, such as hydrofluoric or sulfuric acid, which might have potential impacts on process safety and environment.  Therefore, a solid catalyst would be ideal to avoid the use of highly toxic and corrosive liquid acids, as well as to facilitate the separation steps, since the formation of strong hydrocarbon-acid emulsions is avoided.

Based on the state-of-the-art, simulations, and the application of a structured methodology for selecting reaction systems, in this study, a reaction system concept for alkylation of isobutane using a solid catalyst has been designed. The proposed reaction set up considers a combination of a structured catalyst in a staged CSTR-like configuration which simplifies the process, while maintaining selectivity to alkylate and product octane when compared to conventional alkylation processes. According to the literature consulted, zeolite b was found as the best alternative for an active phase catalyst that can replace liquid acids.


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How to Cite
Salgado, H. (2016). Preliminar concept of a reaction system for alkylation of isobutane on a solid catalyst. CT&F - Ciencia, Tecnología Y Futuro, 6(3), 91-104.


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