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Research Highlights

Title of the development – technology/facility

Simultaneous production of US Grade Gasoline and high purity benzene from FCC C6 Heart Cut Naphtha

Year of Release:

A 0.6 MMTPA unit based on this technology was successfully commissioned in RIL Jamnagar DTA site under J3 Expansion Project in May 2016, and is under smooth operation with design throughput

General introduction to the development, bringing out its need, market/social potential and the targeted outcome

MSAT – II regulations active since January 1, 2011 restricts the average benzene level in Gasoline sold in U.S (except California), to 0.62 % vol. secondly, conventional Naphtha Crackers are being converted to Gas Crackers due to availability of low cost feedstocks like shale gas. Ongoing shift to lighter feedstocks will cut yields of aromatics obtained from conventional naphtha crackers by as much as 55%. This technology will soon become the need of the hour, in view of not only producing clean sulfur and benzene lean gasoline but also for efficient recovery of high value materials (like benzene) from alternative feedstocks such as FCC Gasoline.

Important features unique to the development (bullet form) including the Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

  • Process conceived is totally new in the Refining Industry – First time in the world
  • Designed with an out-of-the box process configuration which minimizes solvent loss, utility requirements, and maximizes yield & purity of products.
  • The process does not require any prior hydrogenation step (Naphtha SHU) to saturate di-olefins which makes it simple, energy efficient, and low cost.
  • Highly thermal stable solvent system
  • All equipments run at positive pressure (no requirement of vacuum)-No air ingress in Extractive Distillation or Solvent Recovery Column or Stripper Column
  • Recovery of benzene is very high i.e. more than 99% , benzene content of dearomatized product < 0.3 wt. %, recovered aromatics purity > 97 wt. %
  • This process provides a high recovery of de-aromatized gasoline fraction, with almost nil benzene and minimal loss of octane value

Benchmarking of the intervention (technology/product/facility) with the available ones in terms of specifications & cost (national and international)

It is first of its kind technology to process impurity laden unprocessed FCC gasoline. For the given throughput, cost of the unit is relatively cheaper than conventional solvent extraction units or hydrogenation units. Payback period is also very low due to the market demand of the high value products.

Major application(s)

Dearomatization of benzene / toluene rich heart cut hydrocarbon streams in refinery / petrochemical complex

Patents Granted on the Technology

  • Indian Patent: Patent No. IN294311 (14th March 2018)
  • European Patent: Patent No. EP2882830B1 (3rd January 2018)
  • Russian Patent: Patent No. RU2635923C2 (17th November 2017)
  • Chinese Patent: Patent No. CN104718276B (25th August 2017)
  • Japanese Patent: Patent No. JP6138938B2 (31st May 2017)
  • USA Patent: Patent No. US8722952B2 (13th May 2014)

Economic Figures and Impact:

  • Capacity and Utilization: 70 TPH/0.61 MMTPA with 20 % design margin
  • Payback period at current price: ~1.1 Years

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