Honeywell UOP has announced that 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 PKN ORLEN facility in Plock, Poland, currently is in the basic engineering stage. Honeywell UOP first commercialized 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. 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 suitable for catalytic reforming units because they produce high yields of aromatics. Both products are the primary components of a wide variety of plastics.
“PKN ORLEN seeks to extend its value chain toward high-margin products, which are increasingly in demand across global markets,” said Józef Wegrecki, Member of the PKN ORLEN Management Board, Operations. “The MaxEne technology would allow us to better harness the potential of our refinery in Poland.”
“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 percent, and the production of aromatics by as much as 12 percent.”
PKN ORLEN would 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.