Axens is licensing a complete set of isomerization configurations in order to support refiners to resolve the evolving gasoline pool equation. Several variations of the C5/C6 isomerization process are available according to feedstock composition and octane objective:
- Once-through reaction for an inexpensive (but limited) octane boost,
- Or, for substantial octane improvement, either a recycle with deisopentanizer or deisohexanizer or an advanced recycle with Ipsorb™ and Hexorb™.
This least-cost path to moderate octane gain can provide, in some cases, a sufficient boost to the gasoline pool octane. Typically, the octane for a feed having a C5 to C6 ratio of 40:60 will have an increase in RON from 70 to 83-84 after isomerization.
The maximum octane number available from a once-through system is limited by the thermodynamic equilibrium of the C5/ C6 mixture. Distillation is one way to achieve octane improvement by either allowing isomers to bypass the reactors (DIP) or by recycling normal paraffin to the reactors (DIH, or combination of DIP, DP and DIH). However, these approaches still leave normal paraffin in the product.
Ipsorb™ and Hexorb™ processes are an alternate path available to convert all normal paraffins to their iso-paraffins. A vapor phase molecular sieve section is used to adsorb normal paraffins for recycling to the reactors.
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