Clariant announces successful start-up of world’s largest dehydrogenation plant using CATOFIN catalyst technology

Hengli Group’s new dehydrogenation plant in Dalian, China is designed to produce over one million tonnes of olefins per year

Hengli Group’s new mixed-feed dehydrogenation plant in Dalian, China.
Hengli Group’s new mixed-feed dehydrogenation plant in Dalian, China.

Clariant announced the successful start-up of its CATOFIN catalyst at Hengli Group’s new mixed-feed dehydrogenation plant in Dalian, China. The new unit combines propane dehydrogenation (PDH) with iso-butane dehydrogenation (BDH) process technologies, and it will produce over one million tonnes of olefins per year – becoming the world’s largest plant using CATOFIN catalyst technology.

The advanced process pairs Clariant’s CATOFIN catalyst together with McDermott’s Lummus process technology and is proven to enable high reliability and yields, cost efficiency and simplicity. In addition to the CATOFIN catalyst, the facility is using Clariant’s innovative Heat Generating Material (HGM) to produce its on-purpose olefins.

Founded in 1994, Hengli Group is one of China’s foremost suppliers of petrochemicals. Hengli Group’s new dehydrogenation plant in Dalian, China is designed to process 500KTA of propane and 800KTA of iso-butane feeds to produce propylene and iso-butylene.

Guangqin Peng, chief engineer of Hengli Petrochemical (Dalian) Refinery Co, stated: “We are very proud of our achievements on this ground-breaking project. The fast, smooth and successful start-up of this world’s largest paraffin dehydrogenation unit would not have been possible without reliable and experienced partners like Clariant.

CATOFIN is an extremely reliable technology for light paraffin dehydrogenation. Operating at thermodynamically advantaged reactor pressure and temperature to maximise yield, the process relies on Clariant’s highly selective CATOFIN catalyst and the company’s patented metal-oxide HGM to deliver high conversion rates. With the successful start-up of the Hengli plant, this now marks Clariant’s 21st CATOFIN unit in operation, totalling over nine million tonnes of olefin production capacity globally.

Stefan Heuser, senior vice president and general manager, business unit catalysts at Clariant, added: “We are honoured that our CATOFIN catalysts and Heat Generating Material were selected by Hengli for its new production facility. Together with our technology partner, McDermott’s Lummus Technology, we are proving, yet again, the outstanding benefits of CATOFIN for propane and iso-butane dehydrogenation.”

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