UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, announced that it has been selected by Yantai Wanhua Polyurethanes Co., Ltd. to provide technology to produce key petrochemicals to meet growing demand in China. Yantai Wanhua will use Honeywell's UOP process technology, catalysts and adsorbents to produce propylene, a building block for films and packaging, and isobutane, a raw material used in the polyurethane production process, at its facility in Yantai, China. The facility will use UOP C3 Oleflex™ process technology to produce 750,000 metric tons of propylene from propane annually and the UOP Butamer(TM) process to produce 565,000 metric tons of isobutane annually. In addition to technology licensing, catalysts and adsorbents, Honeywell's UOP will provide engineering design, equipment, staff training and technical service for the project. The new units are expected to start up in 2013.
"As the demand for widely used petrochemicals, such as propylene and polyurethane, rapidly increases around the world, Honeywell's UOP is pleased to be at the forefront offering the process technology needed to meet that demand," said Pete Piotrowski, senior vice president for Process Technology and Equipment at UOP. "Yantai Wanhua is a world leader in petrochemicals production, and together we look forward to the significant contributions we will make in China."
The Oleflex process uses catalytic dehydrogenation to convert propane to propylene. Compared with alternative propane dehydrogenation processes, Oleflex technology provides the lowest cash cost of production and the highest return on investment. These outcomes are enabled by low operating and capital costs, high propylene yield and reliability, and maximum operating flexibility. The environmentally sustainable, platinum-based UOP DeH-16 catalyst will be used to promote superior dehydrogenation during this production process.
Since the technology was commercialized in 1990, UOP has commissioned nine C3 Oleflex units for on-purpose propylene production, with the 10th unit scheduled to start up in 2012 in Russia. Earlier this year, Honeywell's UOP announced three similar projects in China as well as one in Abu Dhabi. The UOP Butamer process is a high-efficiency process that uses UOP catalysts to convert butane to isobutane. It has been the primary technology for the production of isobutane since the 1950s.
Yantai Wanhua Polyurethanes Co., Ltd. is a world leader in petrochemicals production. It operates two plants in Yantai, China, with subsidiaries in Japan, the U.S., Europe, Hong Kong, Russia, Dubai and India.