In addition to containing up to 90% propylene, steam cracker C3 cuts have from 2 to 8% methyl acetylene and propadiene (MAPD). These highly unsaturated compounds are undesirable in both chemical- and polymer-grade propylene but still, like uncut diamonds, they can be upgraded to a much more valuable product.
The most elegant way to remove MAPD is via hydrogenation to propylene. This can be carried out in either the vapor or liquid phase. All modern steam crackers for which the C3 cut is separated before hydrogenation ("tail end hydrogenation") use liquid-phase hydrogenation as it requires lower investment and has lower operating costs compared to gas-phase processing.
Axens' C3 liquid-phase hydrogenation is founded on thirty years of experience. During this time, both process and catalyst have undergone continuous improvement while a vast experience in the identification, prevention and solution of industrial catalyst deactivation problems such as poisoning was accumulated.
Our commercial experience is very strong with over 100 C3 hydrogenation units licensed.