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Make more olefins economically with this new catalytic-cracking process

By Chemical Engineering |

SK Corp. (Seoul, South Korea; edlinks.chemengonline.com/6893-542) has developed a new process to increase the yield of olefins from the catalytic cracking of paraffinic feeds (paraffins-rich naphtha). The Advanced Catalytic Olefin (ACO) process uses a proprietary zeolite-type granular catalyst in a fluidized-bed system operating at about 650°C and 26-27 psig and achieves an olefins yield of about 65%. In contrast, conventional paraffinic crackers operate at higher (about 850°C) and have a olefins yield of about 50%. The propylene-to-ethylene ratio from ACO is higher (about 0.8-1.2) than the typical 0.5 achieved by conventional steam crackers, says SK Corp. Because the ACO process operates at lower temperature, energy consumption is reduced by 20% compared to steam cracking. Investment costs for an ACO plant are expected to be reduced by 30% compared to steam cracking (based on the same olefins production), says the firm. SK Corp. plans to introduce the first commercial ACO reactor in 2009 at its Naphtha Cracking Center at Ulsan, Korea, plant. The company has also formed a strategic alliance with KBR, Inc. (Houston, Tex.; edlinks.chemengonline.com/6893-543) to market and license the ACO process worldwide (outside Korea).  
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