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Extracting 1,3-Butadiene from a C4 Stream

By Chemical Engineering |

The organic compound 1,3-butadiene is a petrochemical commodity used as a raw material for the production of rubbers and plastics, such as polybutadiene rubber (PR), styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). These materials are mainly applied in the manufacture of automotive parts, tires and cables. Also, 1,3-butadiene is used as an intermediate in the manufacture of several chemicals, such as adiponitrile, the raw material for nylon production. 1,3-Butadiene is generally recovered from C4 streams that are generated as byproducts of ethylene manufacture by naphtha-based steam cracking. These C4 mixtures are composed mostly of butadiene and butenes, with smaller amounts of butanes and acetylenes. To obtain the 1,3-butadiene product stream, it must be extracted from the C4 mixture. This can be accomplished using several technologies, such as separation by solvent extraction. The process The process depicted in Figure 1 is similar to BASF’s (Ludwigshafen, Germany; www.basf.com) process for butadiene extraction using aqueous N-methylpyrrolidinone (NMP) as a solvent.  FIGURE 1. This 1,3-butadiene extraction process is similar to BASF’s NMP process Extractive distillation. The C4 mixture…
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