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Clariant and CB&I to design world's largest single-train dehydrogenation unit in China

  • Propane and butane dehydrogenation unit to be built for Hengli Petrochemical Refinery Co. in Dalian, China
  • Design based on CB&I's Catofin® technology using Clariant's tailor-made Catofin catalyst and Heat Generating Material

Munich, January 19, 2016 – Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, announced today that it has been awarded a contract by Hengli Petrochemical (Dalian) Refinery Co. Ltd to develop an extensive propane and butane dehydrogenation unit in cooperation with CB&I. The project includes the license and engineering design of the co-processing unit, which is to be built in Dalian, Liaoning Province, China.

The design will be based on CB&I's Catofin® catalytic dehydrogenation technology using Clariant's tailor-made Catofin catalyst and Heat Generating Material (HGM) to process feedstock containing 300,000 metric tons of propane and 600,000 metric tons of isobutane annually for the joint production of propylene and isobutylene. When completed, it will be the largest single-train co-processing dehydrogenation unit in the world, and will play a key role in Hengli's expansion plans.

The Catofin process is recognized as a highly reliable and efficient technology for producing propylene from propane, and isobutylene from isobutane. The process operates at optimum reactor pressure and temperature to maximize conversion of propane and isobutene for a high yield of propylene and isobutylene, and correspondingly low investment and operating costs. These performance advantages are now further enhanced through the inclusion of HGM in the Catofin process.

HGM is an innovative metal-oxide material which is designed to significantly increase selectivity and yield of Catofin units. The material is loaded into the catalyst bed with the catalyst where it undergoes oxidation and reduction during the operating cycle, producing heat and driving the dehydrogenation reaction. This not only boosts yields and saves energy, but also reduces emissions. In recognition of its significant step-change contribution to feedstock utilization efficiency, HGM was awarded a special mention by the ICIS Innovation Awards 2014.

HGM demonstrated excellent performance at the propane dehydrogenation plant of Ningbo Haiyue New Material Co. Limited in Ningbo City, China. Hengli will be the second co-processing plant to utilize HGM, following the successful unit designed for Shandong Sincier Petrochemical Co., Ltd. in Dongying, Shandong Province, China.

Stefan Heuser, Senior Vice President & General Manager Business Unit Catalysts at Clariant, stated, "We are very pleased to be part of this groundbreaking project for Hengli Petrochemical Refinery. The contract is further proof that our customers recognize and demand the technological and economical advantages of Catofin and HGM."

Daniel McCarthy, President of CB&I's Technology operating group, added, "Catofin technology provides our customers with proven reliability and the flexibility to co-process multiple feed compositions at world scale capacities."

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