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Honeywell introduces process to convert naphtha into cleaner-burning gasoline

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Honeywell have announced a new refinery configuration developed by Honeywell UOP to produce a cleaner-burning gasoline product that meets increasingly stringent fuel regulations, including the Euro-V standard, which limits sulfur content and restricts carbon emissions from gasoline and diesel vehicles.

The UOP Premium Gasoline Complex (PGC) employs a combination of technologies to convert 100% of naphtha into 95 RON Euro-V gasoline – without the addition of traditional octane boosters such as alkylate, MTBE, ETBE, and ethanol – to meet these regulations.

“This PGC configuration is an excellent solution to hydrocracking and topping refineries that need to produce cleaner-burning gasoline that meets increasingly strict fuel specifications,” said Bryan Glover, President and CEO, Honeywell UOP. “It can be a cost-effective way for established refiners that require modernisation to improve profit margins, and turn an uncompetitive refinery into a world-class operation.”

The PGC configuration operates through four main processes, beginning with full range naphtha that is fed to a naphtha hydrotreating unit, and a naphtha splitter separates the product into an overhead stream of C5/C6 components. From there, the product moves to a Penex™ unit, then to a sidecut stream primarily of C7s to an IsomEx™ isomerisation unit, and finally to a bottom stream rich in C8+ components to a CCR Platforming™ unit. By integrating the three processes, the configuration can convert 100% of a naphtha feed into 95 RON (research octane number) gasoline that meets all Euro-V specifications such as aromatics, olefins and reed vapour pressure.

UOP’s IsomEx technology also can be employed to increase the capacity of existing platforming units by separately processing C7s that would otherwise would be fed to a platforming unit. The addition of an IsomEx unit, in effect, can expand the processing capacity of a platforming unit by as much as 20%.

More than 350 light naphtha isomerisation units are in operation or in design and construction. The CCR platforming process produces reformate for high-octane, low-sulfur gasoline and aromatics, and is designed as a reliable, continuous source of high-purity hydrogen for the production of other fuel products. Since it was first introduced in 1971, more than 375 CCR platforming units are in operation or in design and construction worldwide.

The Penex process upgrades light naphtha feedstock to produce isomerate, a cleaner gasoline blend stock that does not contain benzene, aromatics or olefins. The new IsomEx technology isomerises the C7  components, helping to maximise the C7 contribution to the gasoline pool, while maintaining high yield and limiting production of aromatics.

The conventional feed for the complex is full range straight run naphtha from a crude unit. Depending on the refinery configuration, upstream conversion unit, and the gasoline pool requirements, other naphtha such as hydrocracked naphtha can be processed within the UOP Premium Gasoline Complex to help ensure maximum production of premium gasoline.

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