A solid idea (and a liquid one)

What is the status of new, improved catalysts developed for isobutane alkylation? This has been a popular question during past National Petrochemical & Refiners Association Q&A meetings. Although respondents to the question may have changed, the answer has not.Technologies such as alkylation will gain popularity as refiners look away from using MTBE for octane and turn towards technologies that produce highly branched paraffins. Purvin & Gertz Inc., Houston, expects demand for US alkylation capacity to rise by about 100,000 b/d should MTBE be phased out by 2005.Refining alkylation processes traditionally use one of two liquid catalysts: sulfuric acid or hydrofluoric (HF) acid. The process...

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