UOP LLC, a Honeywell (NYSE: HON) company, announced today that two Chinese petrochemical producers have selected UOP process technology to help meet growing demand for high-value petrochemicals in China.
Shandong Huachao Chemical Co., Ltd. will use the UOP C4 Oleflex™ process to produce isobutylene, a key ingredient for fuels and synthetic rubber. In addition, Zibo Qixiang Tengda Chemical Co. Ltd. will use the UOP Butamer™ process to transform normal butane to isobutane and UOP's C3/C4 Oleflex process to convert isobutane to isobutylene and propane to propylene for the production of plastics. Both companies are located in Shandong Province on China's East Coast.
The Oleflex projects represent UOP's 16th and 17th announced licenses for the Oleflex technology since the beginning of 2011, as demand for propylene and isobutylene grows in the region. The Shandong Huachao project will be the sixth C4 Oleflex unit in China, and the Zibo Qixiang Tengda project is the third combined C3/C4 Oleflex license UOP has been awarded.
"China has rapidly emerged as one of the largest petrochemical producers in Asia," said Pete Piotrowski, senior vice president and general manager of UOP's Process Technology and Equipment business unit. "In the last three years, UOP has licensed technology to produce more than 8 million metric tons of these key petrochemicals globally, including more than 5.4 million metric tons in China, and we look forward to continuing to provide efficient, cost-effective technology solutions to support the world's increasing demand."
The new units are expected to start up in 2016. The Shandong Huachao facility will process 200,000 metric tons of isobutane and the Zibo Qixiang Tengda facility will process 400,000 metric tons of propane and butane feedstocks. In addition to the technology licensing, UOP will provide the engineering design, catalysts, adsorbents, equipment, staff training and technical service for both projects.
The UOP Oleflex process converts propane to propylene and isobutane to isobutylene using catalytic dehydrogenation. Compared with competing processes, Honeywell's UOP Oleflex technology provides the smallest environmental footprint, the lowest cash cost of production and the highest return on investment. Worldwide, UOP has been awarded 25 out of the last 29 dehydrogenation projects in the last three years. The technology consistently performs well due to its high reliability, low capital cost, low energy and water consumption, high olefin yields, and a fully recyclable platinum alumina-based catalyst system.
In addition, unique to the Oleflex process, independent reaction and regeneration systems are in place that allow continuous use of catalysts for steady-state operations (non swing-bed), which helps maximize operating flexibility, up time and reliability. Since the Oleflex technology was commercialized in 1990, UOP has commissioned 10 C3 Oleflex units for on-purpose propylene production and six C4 Oleflex units for on-purpose isobutylene production. Since the beginning of 2011, UOP has announced 17 new Oleflex units worldwide.
The UOP Butamer process uses high-activity, chloride-promoted catalysts in the presence of hydrogen to convert isobutane to normal butane. To date, UOP has commissioned 77 Butamer units to convert normal butane to isobutane and two Butamer units to convert isobutane to normal butane.UOP LLC, headquartered in Des Plaines, Illinois, USA, is a leading international supplier and licensor of process technology, catalysts, adsorbents, process plants, and consulting services to the petroleum refining, petrochemical, and gas processing industries. UOP is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc. and is part of Honeywell's Performance Materials and Technologies strategic business group. For more information, go to www.uop.com.