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Fuels For The 21st Century

Fuel Sulfur Solutions Hydrogen Solutions MTBE Solutions Benzene Solutions

Deciding which benzene- Benzene Solutions

management strategy to
use depends on the value Managing benzene in gasoline has become an important worldwide
of hydrogen, total gaso- issue because of health and environmental concerns. Because the
line, and premium gaso- major source of benzene in gasoline is the napththa reformer, naph-
tha processing is the major focus for benzene reduction.
line. It also depends on
the type of reformer, the Two basic approaches may be used to reduce benzene from the
feedstock processed in the reformer and thereby reduce the benzene content of the gasoline
reformer, and the refinery pool:
configuration. Finally,
1. Prefractionation - By adjusting the cutpoint of the naphtha
the benzene-management splitter benzene and benzene precursors can be removed from
strategy depends on the the reformer feed. Options for processing the light naphtha
target benzene level in the are:
final gasoline pool as
Blending - Light naphtha can be blended directly into the
well as the other blend- gasoline pool if its benzene content is acceptable and if
stocks used in making there is no need for additional octane.
Isomerization - The octane of the light naphtha is
increased, and the benzene is saturated.
Penex and Platforming Saturation - Benzene is removed without upgrading the
Synergy for Efficient light naphtha octane. Octane lost in saturating benzene
Naphtha Processing and must be made up from other sources.
Benzene Control
2. Postfractionation - Remove benzene from the reformate.
More on the BenSat process Processing options are:

Saturation - Benzene in the light reformate is saturated.

More on the Penex Plus Octane must be made up from other sources.
Isomerization - Light reformate is processed together
with light naphtha in an isomerization unit. The octane
of the combined light naphtha and light reformate
streams is increased, and benzene is saturated..

Extraction - Benzene is removed from the reformate for

sale as a petrochemical feed.


BenSat Process
For most refiners, the issue of benzene reduction is one
Light Ends
of managing benzene production from the catalytic to Fuel Gas
reformer. The two primary strategies to accomplish this Hydrogen
goal include the minimization of benzene and benzene Preheater Stabilizer
precursors in the catalytic reformer feed, or the elimina- (For Start-up Only)
tion of benzene from the reformate after it is formed. Reactor
The BenSat process can be applied in either of these
strategies. For example, the BenSat process unit can be
located on the overhead stream of a naphtha splitter, as Feed/Effluent
an alternative to C5-C6 isomerization, to remove the Product
natural benzene concentrated by aggressive reformer
feed prefractionation. Alternatively, the BenSat process
can be used on a light reformate stream to remove the
The process flow scheme is shown above. The liquid
benzene that has been produced in the reformer.
feed stream is pumped to the feed-effluent exchanger
and then to the preheater, used only for start-up pur-
PROCESS DESCRIPTION poses. Once the unit is operating, the heat of reaction
The BenSat process was developed as a low-cost, provides the required heat input to the feed via the feed-
stand-alone option to treat C5-C6 feedstocks that are effluent exchanger.
high in benzene. This UOP proprietary technology is
designed to handle up to 30 vol-% or more benzene in Benzene is saturated to C6 naphthenes in the presence
the feed. Benzene is saturated to C6 naphthenes so that of hydrogen using a noble metal catalyst developed by
the reactor effluent contains less than 0.2 vol-% ben- UOP. The reactor effluent contains less than 0.2 vol-%
zene. benzene. The effluent passes through the feed effluent
exchanger and is then sent to a stabilizer for removal of
The H-8TM BenSat catalyst used in this process is highly light ends.
selective for benzene saturation to C6 naphthenes and is
well proven in similar applications. The process tech- REVAMP OPPORTUNITIES
nology is based on UOPs years of experience with the
BenSat process units are designed to be stand-alone
HB UnibonTM process, which converts benzene to high-
units that can be easily installed on light reformate or
purity cyclohexane for petrochemical use.
light straight-run (LSR) naphtha streams. UOP can assist
Makeup hydrogen to the BenSat process is provided in refiners in a revamp analysis to determine if existing
an amount slightly above the stoichiometric level equipment can be reused in the BenSat application.
required for benzene saturation. The heat of reaction
from benzene saturation is carefully managed to control
the temperature rise across the reactor. Use of a rela-
tively high space velocity in the reactor contributes to
the cost-effectiveness of the BenSat unit.
Print This Tech Sheet
BenSat with stabilizer investment costs were evaluated
BenSat unit feedstocks are assumed to be hydrotreated.
for 10,000 BPSD (1032 T/D) of fresh feed capacity using
Typical feeds include LSR naphtha and light reformate
light reformate with a benzene level of 20 vol-%:
streams. Typical feed compositions are shown below.
BenSat process units are designed to handle 30 vol-% or Inside battery limits, estimated erected costs (50%):
more benzene in the feed. US$ 5.5 MM.

Typical Feed Compositions, Vol - % Basis: U.S. Gulf Coast installation, 2nd quarter, 1998.

Light Reformate
Component Light Naptha Light Cut Heart Cut
Utility estimates for a BenSat process unit processing
C5 Paraffins 28 29 0
10,000 BPSD (1032 T/D) of fresh feed with 20 vol per
C5 Naphthenes 4 0 0
cent benzene are shown below:
C6 Paraffins 35 34 47
C6 Naphthenes 17 3 3 Electric power 84kw 84kw
C 7+ 8 16 24 Medium pressure steam 7.4 T/hr 16.3 M lbs/hr
Benzene 8 18 26 Condensate 7.4 T/hr (16.3) M lbs/hr
Total 100 100 100 Cooling water 119 m3 /hr 526 gpm

YIELDS Parenthesis denotes quantity exported.

For feeds with 5-30 vol-% benzene, the C5+ volumetric
product yields are 101-106% of the feed. Because of high EXPERIENCE
catalyst selectivity, hydrogen consumption is minimized The BenSat process was introduced in 1991. The first
and is near the stoichiometric level of three moles of unit was started up in 1994. Four additional units have
hydrogen per mole of benzene saturated. been commissioned and more units are in design and con-
struction. The technology is based on UOPs years of
The BenSat process saturates benzene without an increase experience with the HB Unibon process for saturating
in Reid vapor pressure (RVP). An overall loss of octane benzene to cyclohexane.
occurs in the BenSat process unit because the benzene
is converted to the lower-octane C6 naphthene compo-
nents. Alternatively, the Penex-PlusTM process saturates
benzene and isomerizes the paraffins to increase the
overall octane but at a higher RVP. Refiners need to
decide which process is best for their particular benzene
reduction strategy.
For more information, please contact your UOP
representative or UOP at:

Phone: 847-391-2000
Fax: 847-391-2253

uop TM

1999 UOP LLC. All rights reserved

This information is not to be taken as a warranty or representation for which UOP
assumes legal responsibility nor as permission or recommendation to practice any 25 East Algonquin Road
patented invention without a license. It is offered solely for your consideration. Des Plaines, IL 60017-5017
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