Honeywell says that Poland’s PKN Orlen has licensed the UOP MaxEne process, which can increase production of ethylene and aromatics and improve the flexibility of gasoline production. The project, for the facility in Płock, Poland, currently is in the basic engineering stage.
Honeywell UOP, a provider of technologies for the oil and gas industry, first commercialised the UOP MaxEne process in 2013. The process enables refiners and petrochemical producers to direct molecules within the naphtha feed to the processes that deliver the greatest value and improve yields of fuels and petrochemicals.
“PKN Orlen seeks to extend its value chain toward high-margin products, which are increasingly in demand across global markets,” said Józef Węgrecki, Member of the PKN Orlen Management Board, Operations. “The MaxEne technology would allow us to better harness the potential of our refinery in Poland.”
The MaxEne process separates full-range naphtha into a stream of normal paraffins which are ideal for steam crackers because they produce high yields of light olefins, and a second stream of isoparaffins, naphthenes and aromatics that are perfect for catalytic reforming units because they produce high yields of aromatics. Both products are the primary components of a wide variety of plastics.
“Since the cost of naphtha represents most of the production cost for most chemicals, we can improve the profitability of petrochemical operations by ensuring the right molecules go to the right processes,” said Bryan Glover, vice president and general manager of Honeywell UOP’s Petrochemicals & Refining Technologies business. “The UOP MaxEne technology is designed to improve molecule management and increase the production of light olefins by up to 30%, and the production of aromatics by as much as 12%.”
By increasing the production of light olefins such as ethylene and propylene, the MaxEne process can substantially improve the profitability of existing naphtha cracking units. It also can increase yields of aromatics which can be used for petrochemical production – including paraxylene — and gasoline blending components.
PKN Orlen will be the first refining and petrochemicals company in Europe to use the Honeywell UOP MaxEne technology for molecule management of a naphtha stream to produce high-quality products including olefins, aromatics and gasoline.