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Aromatics Formation:

New options for aromatic ring creation

The raw benzene, toluene, xylenes, and A9+ feedstock to an aromatics complex can be produced from a number of sources. Heart cut naphthas produced through the distillation of crude oils and the products of heavy oil conversion contain a variety of aromatics but with relatively low concentration. Historically, high severity catalytic reforming of such naphthas has been used to maximize aromatics yield. More recently, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), C6/C7 paraffins, and light cycle oil have also become attractive feedstocks for aromatics production.

The API CCR Platforming process is the industry leader in catalytic reforming with over 230 units currently in operation, many of them producing aromatic rich reformates for benzene and para-xylene production. The CCR Platforming process for aromatics is similar to that for motor fuel production, but typically operates at higher severity, lower pressure, and with specialized catalyst systems to maximize selectivity to BTX.

The API LCO-X process efficiently converts low value light cycle oil (LCO), a byproduct of the FCC process, into BTX aromatics for further upgrading in a conventional aromatics complex. The process utilizes elements of API Unicracking technology with aromatics processing to efficiently convert the two-ring aromatics in LCO to a high purity BTX product, minimizing LPG and heavy aromatic production.

The API Cyclar process converts liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) directly into a liquid, aromatic product in a single processing step. Developed jointly by BP and API, the Cyclar process provides a route to upgrade low value propane and butane, recovered from gas fields or petroleum refining operations, into a high value, liquid aromatic concentrate, ideal as feedstock to an aromatics complex.

API’s RZ Platforming process utilizes a specialized, fixed-bed catalyst system for the efficient conversion of C6 and C7 paraffins to benzene, toluene, and hydrogen. By virtue of its ability to selectively convert the most difficult feed components (C6 and C7 paraffins) to aromatics, the RZ-100 catalyst represents a major step beyond conventional reforming catalyst technology. Processing specialty cut straight-run naphtha or raffinates from aromatics extraction, the RZ Platforming process allows a significant reduction in naphtha requirement for a fixed level of aromatics production.