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Example

Benzene, Toluene and Xylenes are important upstream products widely used in petrochemical industry. They can be produced from naphtha by catalytic reforming reaction. Reaction products from reforming reactor are separated and purified to produce high quality grade Benzene, Toluene and Xylenes. During production process, contaminated product stream (product stream with several compounds mixed together) is also produced as a byproduct. A sample composition of the byproduct stream is shown in Table 1. This byproduct stream can be converted to valuable products by additional processes such as

'

hydrodealkylation, isomerization and dismutation processes. Table 1 Composition of Byproduct Stream


v,tto/o

Benzene Toluene Ethylbenzene m-Xylene* o-Xylene

47
11

34

Balance

Hydrodealkylation of Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylene can be operated with or without catalyst. Operating conditions of the reactor depend on the operating mode selected. Our research laboratory conducted several experiments using special type of catalyst and concluded that the reactions proceed as follow

CaHs-CHt + Hz

CaHa

CHd, CzHa 2CHt,

(l)
(2)

CaCs-CzHs + Hz

CaHa

CaHs-(CHz)z + 2Hz
2CaHe

2CoHa +

(3) (4)

'

CeHs-CaHs +

Hz

Reaction (4) is the only side reaction occured. Each reaction proceeds at different rate and gives different conversion at reactor outlet. Using data available from our experiments it is estimated that conversion of reactions (2) to (4) are as follow

xz

=1-

0.381rr

x3 = 0.746 xr x4 = 0.012 (xr + xz)


Where xt, x2, J[3 and x4 ara conversions of Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Xylenes and Benzene, respectively. Conversions of reactions (1) to (3) are estimated at the reactor inlet concentration of each reactant but conversion of reaction (4) is estimated at the reactor outlet concentration.

High purity grade product and byproduct are to be produced from_.this process. Hydrogen feedstream is not a pure hydrogen gas and it contains approximately 5.8 wtTo of methane. An excess amount of hydrogen is required at the reactor inlet and at the process inlet.
The company plans to design a catalytic hydrodealkylation process for the production of Benzene at Toluene conversion (x1) of 0.8. High purity Toluene or mixed Xylene can also produced as byproducts if desired. Product stream has a capacity of 350,000 tonnes per year

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