Today alkylate is a favorable blending component in the gasoline pool because it contains no olefins or aromatic compounds, has a low sulfur content, a limited heavy end, and relatively high research and motor octane numbers. These traits, all favorable in producing environmentally "clean" gasoline, are strong incentives for a refiner to produce this component. However existing technologies fall short when it comes to an environmentally safe way of producing alkylate. Albemarle Catalysts, CBI Lummus and Neste Oil have developed and demonstrated a solid acid catalyst gasoline alkylation technology, AlkyClean®, that is now being offered for license.
The AlkyClean® process employs a robust zeolite catalyst formulation coupled with a novel reactor processing scheme to yield a high quality alkylate product. The total installed cost of the facility is significantly lower than current liquid-acid processes, such as HF and sulfuric acid. With no liquid acids or chlorides in the system, no product treatment or disposal of acids or chlorides is required. The lack of corrosive acids in the system and the mild operating conditions allow for carbon steel construction, while limited pretreatment and no post treatment result in fewer OSBL equipment pieces.