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UOP’s new technology to aid China’s fuel demand

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, has announced that Shandong Luqing Petrochemical Co. has started up a new production unit in just 20 months, leveraging Honeywell UOP technology and a pre-engineered, fast to market design.

Located in Shandong Province on China’s East Coast, the new unit will use Honeywell UOP’s C4 Oleflex™ process to produce 170 000 tpy of isobutylene, a key ingredient for making high octane fuel and synthetic rubber used in tires, healthcare supplies and other consumer products.

“UOP’s fast to market solution with key, pre-engineered components enabled this project to go from kick-off to start-up in just 20 months, about 10 - 12 months earlier than a typical project of this size, allowing Shandong Luqing to start producing isobutylene sooner,” said Mike Millard, Vice President and General Manager of UOP’s Process Technology and Equipment Business Unit. “With the lowest cash cost of production and the highest return on investment, Oleflex technology makes Luqing a more competitive player in the market for isobutylene.”

“Shandong Luqing is proud to operate the first dedicated C4 Oleflex unit in China,” said Wang Heqing, General Manager at Shandong Luqing. “Using UOP’s fast to market design, we were able to begin production much faster to meet the growing demand for fuel and petrochemicals, while gaining a strong foothold in the market.”

Alongside licensing, UOP also provided the engineering design, catalysts, adsorbents, equipment, staff training and technical service for the project.

The C4 Oleflex process uses catalytic dehydrogenation to convert isobutane to isobutylene. The technology consistently delivers superior performance due to its high reliability, low energy usage, high isobutylene yields, and a fully recyclable platinum alumina-based catalyst system using proven continuous catalyst regeneration (CCR) technology. Last year, Hebei Xinxinyuan Energy Co., Ltd. became the eighth producer in China to license the C4 Oleflex process. The unit is expected to start up later this year.

In addition to the C4 Oleflex process, UOP also licenses C3 Oleflex technology, a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) process that converts propane to propylene. Since the technology was commercialised in 1990, UOP has licensed more than 40 Oleflex units worldwide, including propane (C3), butane (C4) and mixed C3/C4 service.

Shandong Shouguang Luqing Petrochemical Co. is an independent integrated refiner that produces gasoline, liquefied petroleum gas, and the gas additive MTBE.

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle.

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