What's new in production ///

Alkylate, which has been around for decades, is an ideal form of gasoline because it has high octane and contains virtually no regulated components, such as sulfur, benzene, etc. Unfortunately, current technology for producing alkylate is based on hydrofluoric or sulfuric acid, which are hazardous chemicals that generate hazardous waste. Refiners have long sought a way out of the clean fuels / hazardous waste dilemma. Last summer, ABB, Akzo Nobel and Fortum Oil and Gas announced the development of a breakthrough technology to make alkylate using a proprietary, benign, solid catalyst. In addition to the solid catalyst, the new process, called AlkyClean, employs a new reactor design and an innovative processing strategy. ABB and partners are scheduled to have a demonstration unit up and running at Fortum’s facilities in Porvoo, Finland, by the time this column is published.

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