Refined product economics are increasingly favoring LPG olefins, and in particular butylene, as one of the most valuable product yields from the FCCU. Grace offers a robust suite of catalytic solutions to promote butylene yields and create differentiated value for refiners.
In addition to transportation fuel production, the FCCU is the principle source of light olefins (C3=, C4=, and C5=) and isobutane, which are used as petrochemical feedstocks or in the alkylation process. Within the alkylation process, these valuable olefins produced in the FCCU are alkylated with isobutane to form alkylate for use as a high-octane gasoline blending component. The demand for alkylate has increased in recent years, as demand for high performance automobile engines has increased.
Gasoline Octane Barrels
A common challenge reported by refiners is a loss of gasoline pool octane, caused by reduced volume of alkylation feedstock. A high-performance Grace catalyst solution with tailored acidity and multiple differentiated technology components can help address this challenge, delivering an optimum level of butylene to keep the alkylation unit full and maintain refinery pool octane.
A common solution to boosting LPG olefin yields and octane barrels is the use of premium ZSM-5 FCC additive technologies. While these technologies match well with many FCCUs, this technique can be limiting to some operational objectives due to its disproportional yield of propylene relative to butylene. By deploying a high-performance Grace catalytic solution designed to limit cracking of gasoline olefins to C7s or higher, refiners can incrementally boost valuable butylene yields.
The activity and selectivity of FCC catalysts are dependent on the catalyst formulation choices on the amount and type of zeolite, active matrix, and rare earth exchange. Grace maintains several leading and unique technologies within each of these components to help tailor fit a catalyst to optimize value against each refiner’s unique operating objectives and constraints.