Gas Technologies The Right Chemistry: Clariant and CB&I to Plan Massive Single–Train Dehydrogenation Unit in China

Author / Editor: : Hedda Ferris / Dominik Stephan

The Propane and butane dehydrogenation unit will be built for Hengli Petrochemical Refinery in Dalian, China. The project is part of a long-term strategic partnership between the Swiss and US companies.

Related Company

Clariant's headquarter at Muttenz, Switzerland.
Clariant's headquarter at Muttenz, Switzerland.
(Picture: Clariant)

Munich/Germany – The Swiss specialty chemicals company Clariant, announced today that it has been awarded a contract by Hengli Petrochemical (Dalian) Refinery to develop an extensive propane and butane dehydrogenation unit in cooperation with the engineering, procurement and construction company 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 Catofin catalyst and Heat Generating Material (HGM) to process feedstock containing 300,000 metric tons of propane and 600,000 metric tons of isobutane yearly for the joint production of propylene and isobutylene. According to Clariant, upon completion, the unit will be the largest single-train co-processing dehydrogenation module in the world.

The Catofin process is a technology for producing propylene from propane, and isobutylene from isobutane. HGM is a metal-oxide material designed to increase selectivity and yield of Catofin units. The material is loaded onto the catalyst bed with the catalyst where it undergoes oxidation and reduction during the operating cycle, producing heat and driving the dehydrogenation reaction.

HGM is already utilized at the propane dehydrogenation plant of Ningbo Haiyue New Material in Ningbo City, China. The Hengli facility will be the second co-processing plant to utilize HGM, following the unit designed for Shandong Sincier Petrochemical in Dongying, Shandong Province, China. CB&I and Clariant have a long-term strategic partnership between Clariant's Catalysts business unit and CB&I's Lummus Novolen Technology business, to among other things, jointly develop innovative catalysts to serve the fast growing polypropylene industry.