Taking into account the butadiene surpluses that had arisen in several countries, naphtha cracker operators had to find new economical ways other than butadiene extraction to upgrade their C4 cuts.
An efficient route is to selectively hydrogenate 1,3-butadiene to butenes, that can then be valued in a way or another.
With a selective catalyst, butane formation can be limited to a few percent. Axens' selective hydrogenation of butadiene-rich cuts containing around 50 weight per cent butadiene and from one to two weight percent acetylenes is safe and efficient as it responds to the following challenges in particular:
- Heat release control resulting from this highly exothermic reaction
- Predicting selectivity in order to minimize MAC, butadiene, ETAC and VAC, polymerization products as a function of feed composition, based on a detailed kinetic model
- High catalyst activity and selectivity through catalyst selection
Since 1978, Axens has acquired an unrivaled experience in hydrogenation processes for steam cracker C4 streams, with more than forty references.