Amoco and Haldor Topsoe Plan New Alkylation Unit

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27 August 1997

Amoco Corporation's Refining Business Group and Haldor Topsoe A/S, Denmark, have reached an agreement to collaborate on implementation in one of Amoco's refineries of a new alkylation technology developed by Haldor Topsoe A/S.

The new fixed-bed alkylation (FBA) technology employs a liquid superacid supported on a solid support loaded in fixed- bed reactors. As part of the development work, Haldor Topsoe has conducted extensive pilot plant testing and engineering verification for the FBA technology. Amoco has added to the development work through research and development efforts over the past several years. The FBA technology holds the potential to provide economic, operational and safety advantages over currently used alkylation technologies.

Alkylation is a refining process producing "alkylate," a high octane, olefin- and aromatic-free, low volatility blendstock used in gasoline production. Data shows that the process produces approximately 12 percent of the gasoline blendstock in the US, and the implementation of new gasoline specifications is expected to enhance the use of alkylate as blendstock.

"We are excited about the potential of this project to advance the commercial use of the FBA technology," said Peter Sogaard-Andersen, Manager, Refining Technology Group of Haldor Topsoe. "We expect to verify its economical, operational and safety features in this close working relationship with Amoco."

Amoco's Yorktown, Virginia refinery has been selected as the site for which Amoco and Haldor Topsoe will develop a process design, and Haldor Topsoe will undertake basic engineering work for the project. The companies are also planning a pilot verification test of the reactor system at Amoco's Naperville Research Center. Amoco expects to make a decision on the construction of a commercial unit upon successful completion of the pilot verification test and continued improvement in the economic outlook for Yorktown. This process is expected to take 6-8 months.
"We hope to achieve process efficiency advantages from using the FBA technology," said Bruce Hunter, Amoco's project manager. "If, as expected, the project leads to final implementation, it will provide Amoco with additional capability to produce a wider range of motor fuels at Yorktown."

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