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The CDCumene process, marketed by ABB, produces ultra high purity cumene using a proprietary zeolite catalyst that is non-corrosive and environmentally friendly. The CDCumene technology is one of a family of process technologies developed


and commercialized by Catalytic Distillation Technologies (CDTECH) for license to the petroleum refining and petrochemical industries. CDTECH is a partnership between ABB Lummus Global and Chemical Research and Licensing.


Process Features Catalytic distillation structures provide efficient vapor liquid contacting, and combine reaction and fractionation in a single unit operation Proprietary zeolite catalyst

Client Benefits High selectivity and lowered by-product formation high product purity without drag benzene high product quality (ultra low bromine index) without clay treatment high product yield reduced plot area
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Meets evolving environmental requirements continuous operation transalkylation capability maximizes yield eliminates corrosive acidic effluents and associated disposal problems lower maintenance costs
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Controlled low and constant alkylation temperature Simple, low pressure operation

Extends reactor run lengths (over one year without regeneration) sustains high conversion and selectivity

Decreases capital investment improves safety and operability applicable to conversion of existing cumene plants
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Improved heat integration and heat recovery Adaptable to processing chemical and refinery grade propylene feedstocks

Reduces utilities and operating costs recovers all waste heat and heat of reaction

Improves economics plants can be customdesigned to process specific feedstocks, including the less expensive feedstocks

Performance Characteristics

Typical Overall Material Balance MT/MT Feeds Cumene Product Propylene (100% basis) 0.352 Benzene (100% basis) 0.652 Products Cumene Heavy residue Propane 1.000 0.004 * Purity

Cumene Product Quality 99.97 wt % 0.864 < 1C <2

Specific gravity 20/20C Distillation range including 152.5C Bromine index

* Varies with purity of propylene feed

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Cumene is formed by the catalytic alkylation of benzene with propylene. CDTECHs patented CD Cumene process uses a proprietary zeolite catalyst in its patented catalytic distillation structures. The catalyst is non-corrosive and environmentally sound. This modern process features higher product yields, with a much lower capital investment, than the environmentally outdated acid-based processes. The exceptional quality of the cumene product from the CDCumene process easily surpasses current requirements of phenol producers, and may well define tomorrows more stringent quality standards. The unique catalytic distillation column combines reaction and fractionation in a single unit operation. The alkylation reaction takes place isothermally and at low temperature. Reaction products are continuously removed from the reaction zones by distillation. These factors limit the formation of by-product impurities, enhance product purity and yields, and result in expected reactor run lengths in excess of two years. Low operating temperatures result in lower equipment design and operating pressures, which help to decrease capital investment, improve safety of operations, and minimize fugitive emissions. All waste heat, including the heat of reaction, is recovered for improved energy efficiency. The CDCumene technology can process chemical or refinery grade propylene. It can also use dilute propylene streams with purity as low as 10 mol%, provided the content of other olefins and related impurities are within specification.

Process Description

Process Flow Diagram

Benzene Propane Cumene

Catalytic Distillation Column

Cumene Column


PIPB Column

Transalkylator PIPB Recycle Heavies

Process Chemistry

Alkylation C 6H 6 Benzene C6H 5CH(CH3)2 Cumene Transalkylation C6H 4[ CH(CH3)2] 2 Di-isopropylbenzene C 6H 6 Benzene CH3CH=CH 2 Propylene CH3CH=CH 2 Propylene

C6H 5CH(CH3)2 Cumene C6H 4[ CH(CH3)2] 2 Di-isopropylbenzene

2 C 6H 5CH(CH3)2 Cumene

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ABB Lummus Global 1515 Broad Street, Bloomfield, NJ 07003-3096 USA Tel. 1-973-893-1515 Fax. 1-973-893-2000 e-mail: