Title of Invention


Abstract The benzene content in a gasoline pool is reduced by a process that hydrogenates a benzene-containing isomerization zone feedstream (10). The additional cyclic hydrocarbln» produced by the saturation of benzene (32) can be processed in the isomerization zone (30, 22) for ring opening to increase the available paraffinic feedstock or the isomerization zone can be operated to pass the cyclic hydrocarbons through to a product recovery section. The isomerization zone feedstream (10) is treated to remove contaminants (12) and dried (11) before entering the hydrogenation zone (32).
[0001] This invention relates generally to the isomenzation of hydrocarbons. This invention relates more specifically to the processing of benzene-containing hydrocarbon feeds and the isomenzation of light paraffins.
[0002] High octane gasoline is required for modern gasoline engines. Benzene has a high octane number value and has been previously blended into gasoline. However, as benzene is phased out of gasoline for environmental reasons, it has become increasingly necessary to rearrange the structure of the hydrocarbons used in gasoline blending in order to achieve high octane ratings. Catalytic reforming and catalytic isomenzation are two widely used processes for this upgrading.
[0003] A gasoline blending pool is usually derived from naphtha feedstocks and includes €4 and heavier hydrocarbons having boiling points of less than 205°C (395°F) at atmospheric pressure. This range of hydrocarbon includes C4 -Cg paraffins, cycloparaffins and aromatics. Of particular interest have been the C$ and Ce normal paraffins which have relatively low octane numbers. The C4- C$ hydrocarbons have the greatest susceptibility of octane improvement by lead addition and were formerly upgraded in this manner. Octane improvement can also be obtained by catalytically isomerizing the paraffinic hydrocarbons to rearrange the structure of the paraffinic hydrocarbons into branch-chained paraffins or reforming to convert the C& and heavier hydrocarbons to aromatic compounds. Normal Cs hydrocarbons are not readily converted into aromatics, therefore, the common practice has been to isomerize these lighter hydrocarbons into corresponding branch-chained isoparaffins. Although the non-cyclic Ce and heavier hydrocarbons can be upgraded into aromatics through dehydrocyclization, the conversion of Ce's to aromatics creates higher density species and increases gas yields with both effects leading to a reduction in liquid volume yields. Therefore, it is preferable to charge the non-cyclic Ce paraffins to an isomerization unit to obtain Ce isoparaffin hydrocarbons. Consequently, octane upgrading commonly uses isomerization to convert normal C(, and lighter boiling hydrocarbons and reforming to convert Ce cycloparaffins and higher boiling hydrocarbons. [0004] In the reforming processing, Ce cycloparaffins and other higher boiling cyclic hydrocarbons are converted to benzene and benzene derivatives. Since benzene and these
derivatives have a relatively high octane value, the aromatization of these naphthenic hydrocarbons has been the preferred processing route. However, many countries are contemplating or have enacted legislation to restrict the benzene concentration of motor fuels. Therefore, processes are needed for reducing the benzene content of the gasoline pool while maintaining sufficient conversion to satisfy the octane requirements of modern engines.
and shorten its life. One commonly practiced method of controlling these undesired reactions has been to carry out the reaction in the presence of hydrogen. With the hydrogen that is normally present and the high reactivity of the catalyst, any benzene entering the isomerization zone is quickly hydrogenated. The hydrogenation of benzene in the isomerization zone increases the concentration of napthenic hydrocarbons in the isomerization zone.
[0008] It has been discovered that placing a hydrogenation reaction zone in front of an isomerization reaction zone but downstream of the feed driers required for the isomerization catalyst allows savings by reduction of equipment count and cost as well as a reduction in the amount of hydrogen required for the process. Placing the hydrogenation reaction zone downstream of the feed driers, allows the product condensers and receiver that would normally be required downstream of the hydrogenation reactor to be eliminated. Because the receiver has been eliminated, there is no hydrogen venting required. Hydrogen is a valuable commodity to refiners who are in need of ways to reduce hydrogen usage. Furthermore, in the present invention, low pressure feed driers may be used. Driers that are only operated at low pressures are less costly than high pressure driers and the cost of the many valves associated with the driers for the purposes of regenerating the drier sieves is reduced significantly for low pressure driers. Finally, additional utility savings are realized by the elimination of the condensing equipment normally required downstream of the hydrogenation reaction zone.
[0009] This invention is a process for converting a feedstock comprising €4 -€7 paraffins and C$ -Cf cyclic hydrocarbons including benzene. This invention uses a hydrogenation zone upstream of the isomerization reactors to saturate benzene and simultaneously heat the feed to the isomerization zone. The use of a separate hydrogenation zone also lowers the overall temperature of the isomerization zone feed as the benzene is saturated—lower temperatures minimize undesirable hydrocracking reactions. Also performing the highly exothermic benzene saturation reaction in a lead reactor that has a lower temperature reduces the coking that could occur in the isomerization zone as a result of the higher overall temperatures.
[0010] Accordingly in one embodiment, this invention is a process for the isomerization of a €4 -Ce paraffmic feedstock that contains at least 1 wt.% benzene. The process includes
the steps of combining the feedstock with a hydrogen-rich gas stream to produce a combined feed. The combined feed is passed to a hydrogenation zone and contacted therein with a hydrogenation catalyst to saturate benzene and heat the feedstream. The saturated feedstream is recovered from the hydrogenation zone and has a benzene concentration of less than 1.5 wt.%. At least a portion of the saturated feedstream is passed from the hydrogenation zone to an isomerization zone along with a quench stream of dried feed and contacted with an isomerization catalyst at isomerization conditions. [0011] In a yet further embodiment, this invention is a process for the isomerization of €5 -Ce paraffinic feedstock that contain at least 1 wt.% benzene. The process dries the feedstock before combining the feedstock with a dried hydrogen-rich gas to produce a combined feed that is passed at a temperature of from 38 to 232°C (100 to 450°F) to an hydrogenation zone and contacted therein with a hydrogenation catalyst. In another embodiment the temperature of the combined feed is 127 to 232°C (260 to 450°F) or 149 to 204°C (300 to 400°F). To heat the combined feed, the combined feed may be heat exchanged with isomerization zone effluents. Contact with the hydrogenation catalyst saturates the benzene and the exothermic reaction heats the saturated feedstream (hydrogenation zone effluent) to a temperature of from 149 to 288°C (200 to 450°F). In another embodiment the saturated feedstream is heated to 177 to 274°C (350 to 525°F) or 204 to 274°C (400 to 525°F). The saturated feedstream has a benzene concentration of from about 0.01 to about 5 wt-% or from about 0.1 to about 1.5 wt.% and is quenched with dried feed, before being passed to an isomerization zone. The saturated feedstream is contacted with an isomerization catalyst in the isomerization zone to isomerize C$ -Ce hydrocarbons. An isomerate product essentially free of benzene is recovered from the isomerization zone. Downstream separations may be used to recycle low octane components of the isomerization zone effluent.
[0012] Other embodiments, aspects and details of this invention are disclosed in the following detailed description of the invention
[0013] The FIGURE shows a schematic flow diagram of one embodiment of the process.
[0014] A basic arrangement for the processing equipment used in this invention can be readily understood by a review of the flow scheme presented in the FIGURE. The FIGURE does not show all pumps, condensers, reboilers, instruments and other well-known items of processing equipment in order to simplify the drawing. However, the discussion points out several items of traditional processing equipment that may be eliminated and thus provide both a capital cost savings and an operational cost savings.
[0015] Looking at the FIGURE, a feedstream comprising at least Cs and C6 paraffins along with at least 1 wt.% benzene enter the process through line 10 and pass through a sulfur guard bed 12 that removes sulfur from the feedstream. The sulfur-depleted feedstream in line 13 may be heat exchanged with line 10 and then is passed through a low pressure drier 11 to remove water. It is important to note that line 13 is not passed through a reactor, nor is hydrogen added, before being dried in low pressure drier 11. This eliminates the need for product condensers and a receiver on line 13. The elimination of a commonly used condenser provides an operational and equipment cost savings, and the elimination of the receiver additionally eliminates the need for a hydrogen vent. Hydrogen is a valuable component in refineries today, and conservation of hydrogen results in positive value for the refiner. Finally, only a low pressure drier 11 is required. High pressure driers and their associated valves are far more costly than low pressure driers and their associated valves. Thus a cost savings is realized in requiring only a low pressure drier as opposed to a high pressure drier.
[0016] Make-up hydrogen enters the process through line 14 and passes through a drier 16 for removal of water and sulfur. The dried feedstream in line 15 and the dried hydrogen from line 17 are combined in line 18 to form a combined feed. The combined feed 18 is heat exchanged in an exchanger 24 against the contents of line 20 which carries the effluent from a second isomerization reactor 22. The contents of line 18 are further heat exchanged in a heat exchanger 26 against the contents of line 28 which carries the effluent from a first isomerization reactor 30. The hydrogenation reactor 32 receives the contents of line 18, the combined feed. The hydrogenation reactor saturates benzene present in the combined feed and further heats the combined feed. Line 34 which carries a saturated feed from hydrogenation reactor 32 is at too high of a temperature for the isomerization zone and is
therefore quenched using a portion of the dried feed in line 15'. A chloride-containing compound is injected into the contents of line 34' by a line 80.
[0017] A first stage of isomerization takes place in reactor 30. Following the first stage of isomerization, the effluent in line 28 is exchanged in heat exchanger 26 against the combined feed in line 18 as discussed above. Line 28 then carries the partially cooled isomerization effluent from reactor 30 to reactor 22. After further isomerization in reactor 22, an isomerate product is taken by line 20, heat exchanged against the combined feed in line 18 using heat exchanger 24 and then is passed to a fractionation column 38. Fractionation column 38 removes light gases from the isomerate product which are taken overhead by line 42 and withdrawn from the process through the top of a receiver 44 via line 50. Recycle is conducted back to fractionation column 38 via line 46. The stabilized isomerate product is withdrawn from the bottom of fractionation column 38 by line 40. To increase efficiency, stabilized isomerate product in line 40 is conducted to deisohexanizer 58 to separate low octane alkanes, such as normal or single branched isoparaffins and cyclic compounds such as cyclohexane, for recycle to the isomerization zone via line 64. Valuable isomerate product in lines 60 and 62 are combined into final product 66. [0018] Suitable feedstocks for this invention will include C4 plus hydrocarbons up to an end boiling point of about 250°C (482°F). The feedstocks that are used in this invention will typically include hydrocarbon fractions rich in €4 -Ce normal paraffins. The term "rich" is defined to mean a stream having more than 50% of the mentioned component. In addition, the feedstock will include significant amounts of benzene. The concentration of benzene in the feedstock will at least equal 1.0 wt.% and will normally be higher. The concentration of benzene may be from 1 to 25 wt.%, and is expected to usually be in the range of 3 to 15 wt.% or 5 to 12 wt.%. The other feed components will usually comprise C$ -Cg cyclic and paraffmic hydrocarbons with normal pentane, normal hexane, and isohexane providing most of the paraffmic components. Where multiple streams are combined to form a feedstock, the benzene in one of the feeds may be much higher than 25 wt.%. The dilution effect of combining the streams results in the benzene being at a manageable level. [0019] The isomerization zone and hydrogenation zone catalysts are often sulfur sensitive. Suitable guard beds or adsorptive separation processes may be used to reduce the sulfur concentration of the feedstock. The FIGURE shows the treatment of the feedstock to remove sulfur upstream of the feedstock drier, hydrogen addition point, and the hydrogenation zone. It is important that the sulfur guard bed be located upstream of the
drier since water may be liberated from fresh guard bed adsorbent. The feed stream is heated by heat exchange with the effluent of the benzene saturation reactor using a heat exchanger before being passed to the sulfur guard bed. If needed, additional heat may be input into stream 10 before reaching sulfur guard bed 12. The feed stream may be heated with any suitable process stream such as the stabilizer bottoms or with a utility stream such as steam or hot oil.
[0020] Also, some of the possible isomerization zone catalysts suitable for use in this invention are highly sensitive to water and other contaminants. In order to keep water content within acceptable levels for such catalysts, the streams directed to the isomerization zone are first passed through at least one drier. The drier for this purpose reduces water content to 0.1 ppm or less, and suitable adsorption processes for this purpose are well known in the art. The specific placement of the driers in relation to the guard beds and other streams allows for low pressure driers to be used to dry the feedstream. Low pressure driers and their associated regeneration switching valves are much less costly than high pressure driers and are less costly to operate as well. As shown in the FIGURE, the feedstock passes through a drier and the hydrogen stream passes through another drier before the feedstock and the hydrogen stream are combined to form the combined feed. It is important to note that both the feedstock drier and the hydrogen drier are upstream of the hydrogenation zone. [0021] This specific arrangement results in the elimination of the need for additional equipment such as a condenser, a receiver and a high pressure drier on the feedstock stream, and makes the most use of equipment commonly found in existing systems built at a time where there was less of a need to process benzene. Previous isomerization processes, where the benzene concentration in the feedstock was less than 5 wt.%, often had a drier that operated at low pressure. In contrast, previous isomerization processes with higher concentrations of benzene in the feedstock, first saturated the benzene and then dried the product before passing the stream to the isomerization zone. Since the hydrogenated product stream was two-phase, a condenser and a receiver were required to provide a liquid stream that was sent to the driers. To avoid the loss of isopentanes in the receiver off-gas, the receiver and therefore the subsequent drier was operated at high pressure and a more costly high pressure drier was required. With the current need for existing processes to be revised to process feedstocks containing higher benzene concentrations, and the existing low pressure driers, a novel flow scheme was required to allow the processing of a benzene containing feedstock while at the same time only requiring a low pressure drier. In addition
to the capital and operating cost savings associated with the elimination of the condenser and receiver and the ability to reuse existing low pressure feed driers, this flow scheme eliminates the need for sulfur guard beds on the hydrogen stream sent to the saturation reactor. All of the hydrogen used for the hydrogenation and isomerization zones is sent through hydrogen driers where both sulfur and water contained in the hydrogen stream are removed.
[0922] After drying, the feedstock is divided into two portions. One portion will be used as a quench and a hydrogen stream is combined with the other portion of the feedstock to provide hydrogen for the hydrogenation and isomerization zones. When the hydrogen is added downstream of the feedstock treating section, the hydrogen stream also undergoes drying or other treatment, such as sulfur removal, necessary for the sustained operation of the isomerization zone or hydrogenation zone. The hydrogenation of benzene in the hydrogenation zone results in a net consumption of hydrogen. Although hydrogen is not consumed by the isomerization reaction, the isomerization of the light paraffins is usually carried out in the presence of hydrogen. Therefore, the amount of hydrogen added to the feedstock should be sufficient for both the requirements of the hydrogenation zone and the isomerization zone.
[0023] The amount of hydrogen admixed with the feedstock varies widely. For the isomerization zone alone, the amount of hydrogen can vary to produce anywhere from a 0.01 to a 10 hydrogen to hydrocarbon ratio in the isomerization zone effluent. Consumption of hydrogen in the hydrogenation zone increases the required amount of hydrogen admixed with the feedstock. The input through the hydrogenation zone usually requires a relatively high hydrogen to hydrocarbon ratio to provide the hydrogen that is consumed in the saturation reaction. Therefore, hydrogen will usually be mixed with the feedstock in an amount sufficient to create a combined feed having a hydrogen to hydrocarbon ratio of from 0.1 to 2. Lower hydrogen to hydrocarbon ratios in the combined feed are preferred to simplify the system and equipment associated with the addition of hydrogen. At minimum, the hydrogen to hydrocarbon ratio must supply the stoichiometric requirements for the hydrogenation zone. In order for the hydrogenation zone to operate at the mild conditions of this invention, it is preferable that an excess of hydrogen be provided with the combined feed. Although no net hydrogen is consumed in the isomerization reaction, the isomerization zone will have a net consumption of hydrogen often referred to as the stoichiometric hydrogen requirement which is associated with a number of side reactions
that occur. These side reactions include saturation of olefins and aromatics, cracking and disproportionate. Due to the presence of the hydrogenation zone, little saturation of olefins and aromatics will occur in the isomerization zone. Nevertheless, hydrogen in excess of the stoichiometric amounts for the side reactions is maintained in the isomerization zone to provide good stability and conversion by compensating for variations in feedstream compositions that alter the stoichiometric hydrogen requirements and to prolong catalyst life by suppressing side reactions such as cracking and disproportionation. Side reactions left unchecked reduce conversion and lead to the formation of carbonaceous compounds, i.e., coke, that foul the catalyst. As a result, the effluent from the hydrogenation zone should contain enough hydrogen to satisfy the hydrogen requirements for the isomerization zone. In one embodiment the effluent from the hydrogenation zone has a hydrogen to hydrocarbon mole ratio of from about 0.05 to about 2 , in another embodiment the ratio is about 0.1 to about 1.5 and in yet another embodiment the ratio is about 0.1 to 1.0. [0024] It has been found to be advantageous to minimize the amount of hydrogen added to the feedstock. When the hydrogen to hydrocarbon ratio at the effluent of the isomerization zone exceeds about 0.20, it is not economically desirable to operate the isomerization process without the recovery and recycle of hydrogen to supply a portion of the hydrogen requirements. Facilities for the recovery of hydrogen from the effluent are needed to prevent the loss of product and feed components that can escape with the flashing of hydrogen from the isomerization zone effluent. These facilities add to the cost of the process and complicate the operation of the process. The isomerization zone can be operated with the effluent hydrogen to hydrocarbon ratio as low as 0.05 without adversely affecting conversion or catalyst stability. Accordingly where possible, the addition of hydrogen to the feedstock will be kept to below an amount that will produce a hydrogen to hydrocarbon ratio in excess of 0.20 in the effluent from the isomerization zone. [0025] The combined feed in line 18 comprising hydrogen and the feedstock enter the hydrogenation zone. The hydrogenation zone is designed to saturate benzene at relatively mild conditions. The hydrogenation zone comprises a bed of catalyst for promoting the hydrogenation of benzene. Examples of catalyst compositions include platinum group, tin or cobalt and molydenum metals on suitable refractory inorganic oxide supports such as alumina. In one embodiment, the alumina is an anhydrous gamma-alumina with a high degree of purity. The term platinum group metals refers to noble metals excluding silver and
gold which are selected from the group consisting of platinum, palladium, germanium, ruthenium, rhodium, osmium, and iridium.
[0026] Such catalysts have been found to provide satisfactory benzene saturation at conditions including temperatures as low as 38°C (100° F), pressures from 1400 to 4800 kPa(g) (200 to 700 psig), an inlet hydrogen to hydrocarbon ratio in the range of 0.1 to 2, and a 1 to 40 liquid hourly space velocity (LHSV). Other suitable pressures include from about 2068 to about 4137 kPa(g) (300 to 600 psig) and from about 2413 to about 3792 kPa(g) (350 to 550 psig) and other suitable liquid hourly space velocities include from about 4 to about 20 and about 8 to about 20 hr"1. In another embodiment of this invention, the feed entering the hydrogenation zone will be heated to a temperature in the range of 38 to 232°C (100 to 450°F), 127 to 232°C (260 to 450°F) or 149 to 204°C (300 to 400°F) by heat exchange with the effluent from the hydrogenation and isomerization zones. The exothermic saturation reaction increases the heat of the combined feed and saturates essentially all of the benzene contained therein. The effluent from the hydrogenation zone provides a saturated feed for the isomerization zone that will typically contain from 0.01 wt.% to 5 wt.% or from 0.1 wt.% to 1.5 wt.% benzene or from 0.1 to 1.0 wt.% benzene. [0027] With the hydrogenation reaction being exothermic, the saturated feed from the hydrogenation reactor is typically at a temperature in the range of 149 to 288°C (200 to 550°F); 177 to 274°C (350 to 525°F); or 204 to 274°C (400 to 525°F). The isomerization zone operates at a lower temperature range, so the saturated feed must be cooled prior to introduction into the isomerization zone. A portion of the dried feed in line 15' is used to quench the saturated feed. A sufficient amount of dried feed may be used to fully quench the saturated feed, or in addition to the quench, the saturated feed may be additionally cooled using conventional techniques such as air or water cooling. Typically, the quench would vary from about 10 to about 75% of the total amount of dried feed. One or more valves may be employed to control the amount of dried feed that is directed to the quench portion of the feed.
[0028] Saturated feed from the hydrogenation zone, adjusted to the proper temperature, enters the isomerization zone for the rearrangement of the paraffins contained therein from less highly branched hydrocarbons to more highly branched hydrocarbons. Furthermore, if there are any unsaturated compounds that enter the isomerization zone after passage through the hydrogenation zone, these residual amounts of unsaturated hydrocarbons will be quickly saturated in the isomerization zone. The isomerization zone uses a solid isomerization
catalyst to promote the isomerization reaction. There are a number of different isomerization catalysts that can be used for this purpose. The zeolitic type isomerization catalysts are well known and are described in detail in US 3,442,794 and US 3,836,597. Other catalysts include those such as described in US 6,927,188.
The high chloride catalyst on an alumina base that contains platinum is also well known in the art and not described hi detail here. This type of catalyst also contains a chloride component. The chloride component termed in the art "a combined chloride" is present in an amount from about 2 to about 10 wt.% based upon the dry support material. [0029] It is generally known that high chlorided platinum-alumina catalysts of this type are highly sensitive to sulfur and oxygen-containing compounds. Therefore, the feedstock must be relatively free of such compounds. A sulfur concentration no greater than 0.1 ppm is generally required at the reactor inlet. The presence of sulfur in the feedstock serves to temporarily deactivate the catalyst by platinum poisoning. Activity of the catalyst may be restored by hot hydrogen stripping of sulfur from the catalyst composite or by lowering the sulfur concentration in the reactor feed to below 0.1 ppm so that the hydrocarbon will desorb the sulfur that has been absorbed on the catalyst. Water can act to permanently deactivate the catalyst by removing high chloride from the catalyst and replacing it with inactive aluminum hydroxide. Therefore, water, as well as oxygenates, in particular Ci -€5 oxygenates, that can decompose to form water, can only be tolerated in very low concentrations. In general, this requires a limitation of oxygenates in the feed to about 0.1 ppm or less. As previously mentioned, the feedstock may be treated by any method that will remove water and sulfur compounds. Sulfur may be removed from the feedstock by hydrotreating. Adsorption processes for the removal of sulfur and water from hydrocarbon streams are also well known to those skilled in the art.
[0030] Operating conditions within the isomerization zone are selected to maximize the production of isoalkane product from the feed components. Inlet temperatures to, and temperatures within the reaction zone will usually range from about 38°C to about 260°C (100°F to 500°F) or 104°C to 204°C (220°F to 400°F) or 104°C to 177°C (220°F to 350°F). Lower reaction temperatures are preferred for purposes of isomerization conversion since they favor isoalkanes over normal alkanes in equilibrium mixtures. The isoalkane product recovery can be increased by opening some of the cyclohexane rings produced by the saturation of the benzene. However, if it is desired, maximizing ring opening usually requires temperatures in excess of those that are most favorable from an equilibrium
standpoint. For example, when the feed mixture is primarily €5 and Ce alkanes, temperatures in the range of 60° to 160 °C are desired from a normal-isoalkane equilibrium standpoint but, in order to achieve significant opening of Cs and Ce cyclic hydrocarbon ring, the preferred temperature range for this invention lies between 100° to 200°C. When it is desired to also isomerize significant amounts of €4 hydrocarbons, higher reaction temperatures are required to maintain catalyst activity. Thus, when the feed mixture contains significant portions of €4 -Ce alkanes the most suitable operating temperatures for ring opening and isoalkane equilibrium coincide and are in the range from 145° to 225° C. The reaction zone may be maintained over a wide range of pressures. Pressure conditions in the isomerization of C4 -C6 paraffins range from 1380 kPa(g) to 4830 kPa(g) (200 to 700 psig). Higher pressures favor ring opening, therefore, embodiments may use pressures for this process in the range of from 2410 kPa(g) to 4830 kPa(g) (350 to 700 psig) when ring opening is desired. The feed rate to the reaction zone can also vary over a wide range. These conditions include liquid hourly space velocities ranging from 0.5 to 12 hr"1, or between 0.5 andShf1.
[0031] Depending upon the catalyst selected, operation of the reaction zone may also require the presence of a small amount of an organic chloride promoter. The organic chloride promoter serves to maintain a high level of active chloride on the catalyst as small amounts of chloride are continuously stripped off the catalyst by the hydrocarbon feed. The concentration of promoter in the reaction zone is usually maintained at from 30 to 300 ppm. Suitable promoter compounds include oxygen-free decomposable organic chlorides such as perchloroethylene, carbon tetrachloride, proplydichloride, butylchloride, and chloroform to name only a few of such compounds. The addition of chloride promoter after the hydrogenation reactor, as shown in the Figure, may be carried out at such a location to expose the promoter to the highest available temperature and assure its complete decomposition. The need to keep the reactants dry is reinforced by the presence of the organic chloride compound which may convert, in part, to hydrogen chloride. As long as the process streams are kept dry, there will be no adverse effect from the presence of small amounts of hydrogen chloride.
[0032] A preferred manner of operating the process is in a two-reactor, reaction zone system. The catalyst used in the process can be distributed equally or in varying proportions between the two reactors. The use of two reaction zones permits a variation in the operating conditions between the two reaction zones to enhance isoalkane production. The two
reaction zones can also be used to perform cyclic hydrocarbon conversion in one reaction zone and normal paraffin isomerization in the other. In this manner, the first reaction zone can operate at higher temperature and pressure conditions that favor ring opening but performs only a portion of the normal to isoparaffin conversion. The two stage heating of the combined feed, e.g., as provided by exchangers 26 and 24, facilitates the use of higher temperatures therein in a first isomerization reactor. Once cyclic hydrocarbon rings have been opened by initial contact with the catalyst, the final reactor stage may operate at temperature conditions that are more favorable for isoalkane equilibrium. [0033] Another benefit of using two reactors is that it allows partial replacement of the catalyst system without taking the isomerization unit off stream. For short periods of time, during which the replacement of catalyst may be necessary, the entire flow of reactants may be processed through only one reaction vessel while catalyst is replaced in the other. [0034] Whether operated with one or two reaction zones, the effluent of the process will enter separation facilities for the recovery of an isoalkane product. At minimum, the separation facilities divide the reaction zone effluent into a product stream comprising €5 and heavier hydrocarbons and a gas stream which is made up of €3 lighter hydrocarbons and hydrogen. To the extent that €4 hydrocarbons are present, the acceptability of these hydrocarbons in the product stream will depend on the blending characteristics of the desired product, in particular vapor pressure considerations. Consequently, €4 hydrocarbons may be recovered with the heavier isomerization products or withdrawn as part of the overhead or in an independent product stream. Suitable designs for rectification columns and separator vessels to separate the isomerization zone effluent are well known to those skilled in the art.
[0035] When hydrogen is received for recycle from the isomerization zone effluent, the separation facilities, in simplified form, can consist of a product separator and a stabilizer. The product separator operates as a simple flash separator that produces a vapor stream rich in hydrogen with the remainder of its volume principally comprising Ci and €2 hydrocarbons. The vapor stream serves primarily as a source of recycle hydrogen which is usually returned directly to the hydrogenation process. The separator may contain packing or other liquid vapor separation devices to limit the carryover of hydrocarbons. The presence of Ci and €2 hydrocarbons in the vapor stream do not interfere with the isomerization process, therefore, some additional mass flow for these components is accepted in exchange for a simplified column design. The remainder of the isomerization
effluent leaves the separator as a liquid which is passed on to a stabilizer, typically a trayed column containing approximately 30 trays. The column will ordinarily contain condensing and reboiler loops for the withdrawal of a light gas stream comprising at least a majority of the remaining €3 hydrocarbons from the feed stream and a light bottoms stream comprising €5 and heavier hydrocarbons. Normally when the isomerization zone contains only a small quantity of €4 hydrocarbons, the €4*5 are withdrawn with the light gas stream. After caustic treatment for the removal of chloride compounds, the light gas stream will ordinarily serve as fuel gas. The stabilizer overhead liquid, which represents the remainder of the isomerization zone effluent passes back to the fractionation zone as recycle input. [6036] A simplified flow scheme for use without a hydrogen recycle stream is shown in the Figure. In the arrangement of the Figure, all of the excess hydrogen from the isomerization zone is taken with the overhead stream from the stabilizer drum or receiver. Since, as a precondition for use of this arrangement, the amount of hydrogen entering the stabilizer is low, the rejection of hydrogen with the fuel gas stream does not significantly increase the loss of product hydrocarbons.
[0037] In order to more fully illustrate the process, the following theoretical example is presented to demonstrate the operation of the process utilizing the flow scheme of the Figure. All of the numbers identifying vessels and lines correspond to those given in the FIGURE. The Table provides illustrative compositions of streams of the process. The Table is merely an example, and stream compositions may vary from those shown. [0038] A Cs plus naphtha fresh feed having a composition shown in the Table enters through feed conduit 10 and is heat exchanged with the hydrogenation zone effluent before being passed through optional sulfur guard bed 12 to remove sulfur components. The sulfur-free feed is conducted hi line 13 to low pressure drier 11 to remove water. If no sulfur guard bed is present, the feed conduit conducts feed to low pressure drier 11 to remove water. Feed in line 13 may be combined with recycle normal alkanes in sidecut conduit 64 from a deisohexanizer which is second separation zone 58 prior to being dried in low pressure drier 11. Furthermore, if some or all of the feed is light reformate, it is expected that the light reformate will already be sulfur-free and sulfur guard bed 12 may be bypassed or eliminated. Optional second feed conduit 70, shown as a dashed line, shows light reformate feed bypassing sulfur guard bed 12. Reducing the amount of material passing through the sulfur guard bed may result in a smaller guard bed being required thus reducing costs. Dried feed in a drier effluent conduit is divided into two portions. Hydrogen in hydrogen-rich gas
conduit 14 is dried in drier 16 and is combined with dried feed in a first dried feed conduit 15 to form a combined feed. Another portion of dried feed in a second dried feed conduit 15' is separated and will be used as a quench stream.
[0039] Combined feed in combined feed conduit 18 is passed through a series of heat exchangers such as exchangers 24,25 and 26 to heat the feed to a temperature of 149°C to 204°C (300° to 400° F) which then enters hydrogenation reactor 32 at a pressure of 3450 kPa(g) (500 psig). In hydrogenation reaction zone 32, the combined feed is contacted with a catalyst comprising a platinum metal on a chlorided platinum alumina support at an LHSV of 20. Contact of the combined feed with the hydrogenation catalyst produces a saturated feed that is withdrawn in hydrogenation zone effluent conduit 34 and has no more than about 0.5 wt.-% benzene. The hydrogenation zone heats the saturated feed to a temperature of 177 to 274°C (350° to 525° F). Since the temperature required for the isomerization zone is less than the temperature of the saturated feed, the saturated feed is quenched with dried feed in line 15'. If necessary, the saturated feed may also be further cooled using conventional techniques. The quenched saturated feed in quenched hydrogenation zone effluent conduit 34' is passed on to the isomerization zone at a pressure of 3240 kPa(g) (470
[0040] Perchloroethylene is added to the saturated feedstream, via chloride delivery system 80, at a rate of 150 wt. ppm which then enters the isomerization reaction zone 30 and 22. In the isomerization zone, the quenched saturated feed stream contacts an alumina catalyst such as one having 0.25 wt.% platinum and 5.5 wt.% chloride. The converted isomerization zone feed passed out of the reactor train in isomerization zone effluent conduit 20 at a temperature of 93 to 204°C (200 to 400°F) and a pressure of 3100 kPa(g) (450 psig) and has an exemplary composition as shown in the Table. [0041] After heat exchange with combined feed in combined feed conduit 18, cooled isomerization zone effluent in isomerization zone effluent conduit 36 enters the stabilizer column of first separation zone 38 for the recovery of the product and removal of light gases. The stabilizer column has, for example, 30 trays and the feed may enter above tray 15. The stabilizer column splits the isomerization zone effluent into an overhead in C4 and lighter hydrocarbons conduit 42 which is cooled and condensed 44 to provide a recycle 46 and a fuel gas stream 50. Because of the chloride in the stream, the fuel gas stream is passed through scrubber 52 to remove any chloride and provide a scrubbed fuel gas stream 56. Spent caustic is removed from scrubber 52 in stream 54. An isomerization zone product in
stabilizer bottoms conduit 40 is withdrawn from the bottom of stabilizer column 38 and has the exemplary composition shown in the Table. Isomerization zone product is passed to deisohexanizer (DIH) of second separation zone 58 to separate low octane normal and monomethyl alkanes into sidecut conduit 64 which may be recycled to combine with the feed stock in line 13. The pentanes, dimethyl-butanes, and some monomethyl alkanes removed as DIH overhead in overhead conduit 60 are combined with the Ce naphthenes and C-j+ of DIH bottoms in bottoms conduit 62 to form the process product stream in product conduit 66.
[0042] This example demonstrates the ability of the process to saturate benzene using a flow scheme that allows low pressure feedstock driers and requires no condensing of the feed that would also require a receiver with hydrogen venting and additional pumps. The combined feed is heat exchanged with the effluents of the isomerization reactors and the benzene saturation reactor, and the benzene saturation effluent is also heat exchanged with the fresh feed. All values in the table are merely exemplary of one embodiment, and the compositions of the stream may vary with different applications.
(Table Removed)

We claim:
1. An apparatus for the hydrogenation and decyclization of benzene and the isomerization
of Cs-Ce paraffins with a feedstock comprising Cs-Cg paraffins and at least lwt.% benzene,
said apparatus comprising:
(a) a feed conduit (10) not equipped with a condenser or a hydrogen vent, in fluid
communication with a low pressure drier (11);
(b) a drier effluent conduit in fluid communication with the low pressure drier (11) and
with both a first dried feed conduit (15) and a second dried feed conduit (15');
(c) a hydrogen-rich gas conduit combining with the first dried feed conduit (15) so as to
form a combined feed conduit (18);
(d) a hydrogenation zone (32) in fluid communication with the combined feed conduit
(18) and a hydrogenation zone effluent conduit (34), said hydrogenation zone (32
comprising a hydrogenation catalyst;
(e) a quenched hydrogenation zone effluent conduit (34') formed by combining the
second dried feed conduit (15') with the hydrogenation zone effluent conduit (34);
(f) an isomerization zone (30, 22) in fluid communication with the quenched
hydrogenation zone effluent conduit (34') and an isomerization zone effluent
conduit (20), the isomerization zone (30,22) comprising an isomerization catalyst.

2. The apparatus of Claim 1 further comprising a sulfur guard bed (12) in fluid
communication with the feed conduit (10).
3. The apparatus of Claim 1 further comprising a chiller in fluid communication with the
quenched hydrogenation zone effluent conduit (34').
4. The apparatus of Claim 1 further comprising at least one valve in fluid communication
with the drier effluent conduit, the first dried feed conduit (15), and the second dried feed
conduit (15'), said valve capable of directing between 10% and 75% of the contents of the
drier effluent conduit into the second dried feed conduit (15').
5. The apparatus of Claim 1 further comprising:
(a) a first separation zone (38) in fluid communication with the isomerization zone
effluent conduit (20), a €4 and lighter hydrocarbons conduit (42) and a stabilizer
bottoms conduit (40);
(b) a second separation zone (58) in fluid communication with the stabilizer bottoms
conduit (40), and overhead conduit (60), a side cut conduit (64), and a bottoms
conduit (62) wherein the side cut conduit (60) is in fluid communication with the
feed conduit.
6. A process for the hydrogenation and decyclization of benzene and the isomerization of
Cs-Ce paraffins with a feedstock comprising Cs-Ce paraffins and at least 1 wt.% benzene,
said process comprising:
(a) passing the feedstock, without venting hydrogen or condensing, to a drier, to remove
water and thereby dry the feedstock and generate a dried feedstock comprising less
than 0.5 wt.-% water,
(b) separating the dried feedstock into a first portion and a second portion;
(c) combining the first portion of the dried feedstock with a hydrogen-rich gas stream to
produce a combined feed;
(d) passing the combined feed, at a temperature of from about 38 to about 232°C (about
100 to about 450°F), to a hydrogenation zone and contacting said combined feed
with a hydrogenation catalyst at hydrogenation conditions to saturate benzene and
generate a hydrogenation zone effluent having a temperature in the range of about
149 to about 288°C (300 to 550°F) and comprising less than 1.5 wt. % benzene;
(e) adjusting the temperature of the hydrogenation zone effluent to a range of about 104
to about 204°C (220 to 400°F) by at least heat quenching the hydrogenation zone
effluent with the second portion of the dried feedstock;
(f) passing at least a portion of the hydrogenation zone effluent to an isomerization zone
and contacting said feedstream with an isomerization catalyst at isomerization and
decyclization conditions; and
(g) recovering an isomerate product from the isomerization zone.
7. The process of Claim 6 further comprising passing at least a portion of the feedstock
through a sulfur guard bed to remove sulfur-containing components prior to passing the
feedstock to the drier.
8. The process of Claim 6 wherein the feedstock comprises about 1 to about 25 wt.%
benzene and the hydrogenation zone effluent has less than 2 wt.% benzene.
9. The process of Claim 1 wherein the hydrogen-rich gas stream is mixed with said
feedstock to produce a hydrogen to hydrocarbon ratio in the range of 0.1 to 2 in the
combined feed and wherein the hydrogenation conditions include a pressure of from 1380 to
4830 kPa(g) (200 to 700 psig), a liquid hourly space velocity of from 1 to 40 and a
hydrogen to hydrocarbon ratio of from 0.1 to 2.
10. The process of Claim 6 further comprising:
(c) separating the isomerate product to remove C4 and lighter hydrocarbons and
generate a stabilizer bottoms stream;
(d) separating the stabilizer bottoms stream into an overhead stream comprising
pentanes, dimethylbutanes and methylpentanes, a side cut stream comprising normal
hexane, methylpentanes and C6 naphthenes, and a bottoms stream comprising C6
naphthenes and C7 and heavier compounds;
(e) recycling the side cut stream to combine with the feedstock.

11. An apparatus for the hydrogenation and decyclization of benzene and the isomerization
of Cs-C6 paraffins, substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the description
and accompanying drawing.
12. A process for the hydrogenation and decyclization of benzene and the isomerization of
Cs-Cg paraffins, substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the description
and accompanying drawing.






629-DEL-2008-Correspodence Others-(29-06-2011).pdf

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629-del-2008-description (complete).pdf














Patent Number 259986
Indian Patent Application Number 629/DEL/2008
PG Journal Number 14/2014
Publication Date 04-Apr-2014
Grant Date 30-Mar-2014
Date of Filing 12-Mar-2008
Name of Patentee UOP LLC
Applicant Address 25 EAST ALGONQUIN ROAD, P.O.BOX 5017, DES PLAINES, ILLINOIS 60017-5017, U.S.A
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
PCT International Classification Number N/A
PCT International Application Number N/A
PCT International Filing date
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 11/750,525 2007-05-18 U.S.A.
2 11/750,528 2007-05-18 U.S.A.