The UOP Indirect Alkylation (InAlk) process uses solid catalysts to convert light olefins (mainly C4 but also C3 and C5 ) to alkylate.
The InAlk process makes premium alkylate using a combination of commercially proven technologies. Iso-butene reacts with itself or with other C3 – C5 olefins via polymerization. The resulting mixture of higher molecular weight iso-olefins may then be hydrogenated to form a high-octane paraffinic gasoline blendstock that is similar to alkylate, but usually higher in octane, or it may be left as an olefinic high-octane gasoline blending component.
Either resin or solid phosphoric acid (SPA) catalysts are used to polymerize the olefins. Resin catalyst primarily converts iso-butene. SPA catalyst also converts n-butenes. The saturation section uses either a base-metal or noble-metal catalyst.
The InAlk process is an extension of UOP’s catalytic condensation and olefin saturation technologies. UOP has licensed and designed more than 400 catalytic condensation units for the production of polygasoline and petrochemical olefins and more than 200 hydrogenation units of various types. Currently, 10 InAlk units are in operation.
Feed: A wide variety of feeds can be processed in the InAlk process. Typical feeds include FCC-derived light olefins, steam-cracker olefins and iC4 dehydrogenation olefins.