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Catalytic Reforming


In catalytic reforming, hydrogen is created as a byproduct, and is of high value in other refining processes; hydrogen is also produced in steam methane reforming processes. For reliable, clean hydrogen streams, refineries select our specialized hydrogen purification products, which remove water, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen, and methane to create an end product of high purity hydrogen. Catalysts are commonly used in petroleum refineries to convert straight run naphtha, which has a typically low octane rating, into reformates. Reformates are used in gasoline blending because of their high octane rating. The catalysts will facilitate the reformation, or rearrangement, of the molecular structure of low value hydrocarbons in naphtha feedstocks and creates a more complex hydrocarbon with a higher value.

Upgrading these low octane hydrocarbons creates a higher value product to increase profits for the refinery. While reforming naphtha, some byproducts are formed such as C1-C4 hydrocarbons. Catalytic reforming is a critical source of hydrogen, another byproduct from reforming, which is of high value in other refining processes.

Chloride Removal

Our chloride removal products include aluminas that optimize chemisorption properties of the alumina to offer an ideal product in catalytic reforming processes where catalysts are treated with organic chloride to enhance isomerization activity, promote surface acidity, and improve the qualities of the desired reformate. However, these organic chlorides can cause issues in catalytic reforming separator and in downstream equipment including poisoning of catalysts, corrosion, specification issues, and can form into ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) and hydrogen chloride (HCl). Hydrogen chloride can rapidly deactivate palladium, nickel, and copper based catalysts, and will react with the ammonia (NH3) formed in the catalytic reformer feed from nitrogen compounds. When operation temperatures fall below 100˚C, HCl and ammonia will form into ammonium chloride, which can deposit, corrode, and poison downstream catalysts. Our aluminas are able to remove chlorides to minimal levels and prevent the corrosion or poisoning of costly downstream catalysts.


Activated Alumina

To prevent these issues, refineries use chloride guards, filled with catalysts to remove chloride from process streams. Using regular activated alumina is possible, but not the best option because hydrogen chloride, as a polar molecule, will react with the hydroxyl groups of the activated alumina as a means of physical adsorption (physisorption). While activated alumina can be used in gas phase processes, the resulting physisorption is undesirable and promoted alumina products are often chosen instead.


Promoted Alumina

Promoted alumina is commonly used in liquid phase processes, providing chemisorption capabilities that can function at higher temperatures compared to nonpromoted alumina. The promoter reacts with HCl to create a chemical bond, which removes the chloride from the process stream; this product however, cannot be regenerated.

Hydrogen Purification

Hydrogen holds a high value for refineries and is used in processes such as hydrotreating and hydrocracking. Hydrogen can be collected from various processes in the refinery such as off-gas streams, hydrocracker and hydrotreater purge gas, and most critically, from catalytic reforming, where hydrogen is formed as a byproduct of the reformation process. Our hydrogen purification products come in a variety of types to offer the ideal product for each specific process. The hydrogen collected from these processes has to be purified in pressure swing adsorption (PSA) units to produce hydrogen. Hengye’s specialized adsorbents, used in PSA units, are able to remove water, CO, CO2, nitrogen, and methane to create an end product that is about 99.9% pure and suitable for use in refineries.

Products for Catalytic Reforming
Product Name Adsorbent Type Application Beads (mesh) Pellets (inch) Packaging Options
ChloriClear I specialized molecular sieve chloride removal 4×8, 8×12 1/8, 1/16 super sacks, drums
ChloriClear A 23S promoted alumina chloride removal 1/16, 1/8, 3/16 no super sacks, drums
HydroFlo V Type 5A molecular sieve hydrogen generation 8×12 no super sacks, drums
HydroFlo A PC catalyst hydrogen generation 4×8, 8×12 no super sacks, drums
HydroFlo C catalyst hydrogen generation no more info super sacks, drums