The isomerization process is important in refining, petrochemical, and gas plants due to the growing demand for high octane gasoline blending components and petrochemicals.
Light naphtha isomerization is an economical process where paraffins in light naphtha are rearranged into more highly branched paraffins having a higher octane number, typically in the range of 78-85 depending on feedstock properties, operating conditions, and catalyst.
Butane isomerization converts low 93 RON octane, straight chain n-butane into high 102 RON octane, branched iso-butane used as a blending component in gasoline to increase gasoline octane number.
Xylene isomerization converts xylene into para xylene used in the manufacture of terephthalic acid (TPA), purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and dimethyl-terephthalate (DMT), feedstocks for the manufacture polyethylene terephthalate (PET) polyesters, a type of plastic used in packaging for improved food hygiene and the delivery of medicines.
Isomerization catalysts fall into 2 categories:
Platinum (Pt) on chlorinated alumina catalysts offer high activity, conversion rate, and octane number, and are suitable for lower temperature operations. However, these catalysts provide a shorter cycle length, are highly susceptible to oxygen, water, and sulfur in the feed, and require the continuous addition of chloride
Platinum on zeolite catalyst are suitable for higher temperature operations, provide longer cycle length but lower activity compared to Pt on chlorinated alumina catalysts, are more robust in the presence of oxygen, water, and sulfur contaminants in the feed, and have higher surface area stability.
Our portfolio of isomerization catalysts include: