To produce cumene from benzene and any grade of propylene including lower-quality refinery propylene-propane mixtures using the Badger process and a new generation of zeolite catalysts from ExxonMobil.
The process includes: a fixed-bed alkylation reactor, a fixedbed transalkylation reactor and a distillation section. Liquid propylene and benzene are premixed and fed to the alkylation reactor (1) where propylene is completely reacted. Separately, recycled polyisopropylbenzene (PIPB) is premixed with benzene and fed to the transalkylation reactor (2) where PIPB reacts to form additional cumene. The transalkylation and alkylation effluents are fed to the distillation section. The distillation section consists of as many as four columns in series. The depropanizer (3) recovers propane overhead as LPG. The benzene column (4) recovers excess benzene for recycle to the reactors. The cumene column (5) recovers cumene product overhead. The PIPB column (6) recovers PIPB overhead for recycle to the transalkylation reactor.
Process features: The process allows a substantial increase in capacity for existing SPA, AlCl3 or other zeolite cumene plants while improving product purity, feedstock consumption and utility consumption. The new catalyst is environmentally inert, does not produce byproduct oligomers or coke and can operate at extremely low benzene to propylene ratios.
Yield and product purity: This process is essentially stoichiometric, and product purity above 99.97% weight has been regularly achieved in commercial operation.
Licensor: Badger Licensing LLC