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IsoTherming® hydroprocessing technology

DuPont Sustainable Solutions offers IsoTherming® hydroprocessing technology, a commercially proven breakthrough process which provides refiners a significantly more economical means to produce today’s ultra low sulfur transportation fuels. DuPont acquired the technology in August 2007.

In conventional hydroprocessing technology, the reactions occur in the liquid phase. A large volume of hydrogen rich recycle gas is combined with the reactor feed to ensure that the required hydrogen for the reactions can be transferred to the liquid phase. The heart of IsoTherming® technology, Figure 1, is the ability to provide the hydrogen necessary for the reactions using a liquid recycle stream. The reactor feed is combined with the recycle stream and, when saturated with hydrogen, eliminates the need for a recycle gas compressor. The required hydrogen is delivered to the reactor in a single, liquid phase, and operating the reactor liquid-full also acts as a heat sink for the exothermic reactions. The reactor operates closer to isothermal conditions, which reduces uncontrolled cracking reactions and thus lowers light ends make.

By removing the need for hydrogen dissolution in the reactor, the process has removed any mass transfer limitation of the reactions. The reaction rates can approach their kinetic limits. As a result, the reactor can now be sized for the hydroprocessing reactions themselves rather than the dissolving of hydrogen in the reaction mixture. This change in
reactor design has a number of very attractive benefits to a refiner.

Lower total investment
Lower catalyst volumes result in correspondingly smaller reactors. Not only are capital savings realized in reactor cost and catalyst, but the elimination of the need for a recycle compressor loop and the required associated ancillary equipment: (amine absorbers, knock-out drums, heat exchangers, etc.), results in reductions of ISBL cost by 20% to 40%, depending on the application.

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