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10 Jan 2022 | 12.30 IST
Last week, toluene prices marched higher in Asia. The price rise was in line with firmer upstream crude and gasoline values, coupled with improved regional demand trends.
Aromatics are fundamental petrochemical compounds used as raw materials to manufacture hundreds of polymers, solvents and additives; these, in turn, are used to make consumable products that people use every day.
Aromatics are fundamental petrochemical compounds used as raw materials to manufacture hundreds of polymers, solvents and additives; these, in turn, are used to make consumable products that people use every day. As the consumable market grows, higher demand is seen to produce more aromatics, specifically benzene, toluene and xylenes (collectively known as BTX). BTX is the base of all aromatic derivatives, and continues to see increased global demand. As a result, new BTX units or expansions of existing BTX units come online nearly every year.
Due to the low BTX content in crude oil, BTX is largely created by converting other molecules to BTX molecules. The most common method is by naphtha reforming, which is typically a process unit in refineries, with the purpose of converting non-aromatics from the same carbon numbers to aromatics. Reformate, the product from naphtha reforming, provides roughly one half of the source for BTX. The pyrolysis gasoline (pygas) from naphtha crackers provides roughly one third…
Integrated refining/aromatics/olefins complexes are an efficient and effective configuration to maximize crude oil feedstock value and optimize the value of the entire product chain.
Integrated refining/aromatics/olefins complexes are an efficient and effective configuration to maximize crude oil feedstock value and optimize the value of the entire product chain. A single site demonstrates the processing scheme from the raw material to final consumable products, along with the practical perspectives of both reliable operation and sustainable profitability.
Within the last two decades, many existing refineries and petrochemical plants have been transformed to the integrated refining/aromatics/olefins complex through revamps, expansions and additions. In recent years, several grassroots integrated refining/aromatics/olefins mega-projects have been put into commercial operation. Note: Here, the magnitude of “mega” is defined as a crude oil processing capacity for the complex of more than 15 MMtpy (300,000 bpd). At present, more complex projects are under construction.
The purpose of the integrated complex is to maximize the production of aromatics and olefins (and their primary and secondary derivatives chemicals) from crude oil. Depending on market demand for transportation fuels, particularly gasoline, an FCC unit may or may not be included in the complex configuration. Hydrocracking has been…