February 2012

Special Report: Clean Fuels

Use advanced catalysts to improve xylenes isomerization

This refiner wanted to increase ethylbenzene conversion while limiting aromatics losses

Shouquan, G., Sinopec Zhenhai Refinery & Chemical Co.; Chua, J., Zeolyst International

Sinopec Zhenhai Refinery and Chemical Co. (ZRCC) started up a 450,000-tpy paraxylene (PX) complex in August 2003. The complex was originally designed to use a locally produced xylene isomerization catalyst. The performance of xylene isomerization catalyst during the first cycle began to deteriorate rapidly after the regeneration in March 2007. The ethylbenzene (EB) conversion rate dropped from 25 wt% before regeneration to 22 wt%, and the PX/xylene ratio in the product also dropped from 22.7% to 22% and directly led to a 0.4 wt% reduction of PX concentration in the PX adsorption unit feed. As a result, the PX production dropped by 50 tpd of PX; the C8 aromatics loss was higher than 4%, whi

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