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ZEOSOM TECHNOLOGY: LIGHT NAPHTHA ISOMERIZATION

Introduction Process

In recent years, Light Naphtha Isomerization The typical operating conditions of


has become increasingly important to help IndianOil - EIL Isomerization process are:
refiners in meeting stricter gasoline Temperature : 240 280C
specifications. Pressure : 17 35 barg

This process converts straight chain light The process scheme (once through or with
paraffinic hydrocarbons (pentane and recycle) depends on the feed quality and
hexanes) to the corresponding branched desired RON of isomerate. Once through
isomers, having higher octane number process scheme is simple, typically
(known as isomerate) free from sulphur, containing a single reactor, a charge heater,
olefins and aromatics. Another important coolers, separator, recycle gas compressor
feature of Light Naphtha Isomerization and stabilizer column.
process is that it saturates the benzene (RON
120) present in the feed to cyclohexane
(RON 77), which subsequently gets
isomerized to methylcyclopentane (RON
85). Hence, the process provides the refiners
with the advantage of reducing benzene,
olefin and sulphur in the gasoline pool,
without significantly sacrificing the octane.

IndianOil and Engineers India Limited (EIL)


have jointly licensed the Light Naphtha
Isomerization Technology. The IndianOil-
EIL process is designed for zeolite based
isomerization catalyst, which has several
distinctive process features compared to the
conventional isomerization process with
Platinum (Pt) on chlorinated alumina Isomerization Micro-reactor unit
catalyst.

The information in this document is proprietary and should not be copied or used without prior permission.
IOC assumes no legal responsibility or recommend to practice the technology without license.
Salient Features Advantages

Up to 10 wt% of aromatics/ benzene and 5 The major benefits of this process as


wt% of C7+ in the fresh feed can be compared to the process based on
handled in the single reactor through a conventional Pt chlorinated alumina catalyst
suitable process scheme. are:
Close to 100% benzene saturation takes Due to high tolerance of catalyst towards
place within the reactor. the feed contaminants such as sulphur,
Due to the higher tolerance towards water etc., elaborate feed/ make up
sulphur and water, feed hydrotreatment, hydrogen drying and feed
feed drying and make-up hydrogen drying desulphurization are not mandatory,
are not mandatory, thereby significantly thereby reducing the investment and
reducing the capital investment. operating cost.
Employs commercially available Platinum Ease of start-up and operation due to
promoted zeolite based catalyst, with very elimination of elaborate drying procedure
good tolerance to feedstock contaminants. of feed and make up/ recycle gas.
Process scheme is much simpler with
Impurities Max limit single reactor instead of complicated lead-
(ppmw) lag reactor configuration.
Sulphur 200 As the process does not require handling
Water 200 of toxic material, there is no need for
Basic Nitrogen 2 selection of exotic material of
Halogens 1 construction, caustic treatment of fuel gas/
Alkaline/Alkaline 50 LPG for reduction of chloride content and
Earth metals resultant effluent treatment.
Catalyst is fully regenerable having >
Catalyst does not require addition of any 10 years of ultimate life. Catalyst is robust
chemicals such as organic chlorides for and does not undergo permanent
maintaining the activity. deactivation with typical process upsets.
Catalyst is fully regenerable and can be Ideal for revamp of fixed bed units such as
regenerated in-situ after a cycle time of catalytic reformers, hydrotreaters, etc. as
two to four years. no major modifications are required.
Once through octane gain of 9-13 can be
achieved depending on the feed quality. Backup Strengths
With inclusion of De-iso-hexaniser in the
IndianOil-EIL Light Naphtha Isomerization
flow scheme, octane gain of more than 15
technology is backed by a vast databank
can be achieved.
generated in state-of-the-art facilities at
The product sulphur is negligible even
IndianOil R&D as well as EILs long
without feed hydro-treatment as the
experience in process design and
sulphur present in feed is mostly
engineering.
converted to H2S.
Light Naphtha Isomerization unit of 154,000
MTPA capacity licensed by IndianOil-EIL
was commissioned in IndianOil's
The information in this document is proprietary and should not be copied or used without prior permission.
IOC assumes no legal responsibility or recommend to practice the technology without license.
Bongaigaon Refinery in September 2011. hydrotreatment and drying section. The
This unit processes light straight run naphtha performance guarantee test run of the unit
and light reformate feed to get a product was conducted and all the guaranteed
Isomerate with 87 RON and almost zero parameters have been demonstrated
benzene without employing feed successfully.

Naphtha Isomerization unit at Bongaigaon Refinery

Contact details

Engineers India Ltd. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd


1, Bhikaji Cama Place, Research & Development Centre, Sector-13
New Delhi, 110066 Faridabad-121007, Haryana, India
Tel: +91-129-2294376
Tel: E-mail: acharyagk@indianoil.in
E-mail: Website: www.iocl.com
Website: www.engineersindia.com

The information in this document is proprietary and should not be copied or used without prior permission.
IOC assumes no legal responsibility or recommend to practice the technology without license.