Oil & Gas Science and Technology (Jan 2021)

Nonsteady-state mathematical modelling of H2SO4-catalysed alkylation of isobutane with alkenes

  • Ivashkina Elena,
  • Ivanchina Emiliya,
  • Dolganov Igor,
  • Chuzlov Vyacheslav,
  • Kotelnikov Alexander,
  • Dolganova Irena,
  • Khakimov Rustam

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 76
p. 36


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H2SO4-catalysed isobutane alkylation with alkenes is an important industrial process used to obtain high-octane alkylate. In this process, the concentration of H2SO4 is one of the main parameters. For alkylation, sulphuric acid containing 88%–98% monohydrate is typically used. However, only a H2SO4 concentration of 95%–96% enables alkylate with the maximum octane number to be obtained. Changes in H2SO4 concentration due to decontamination are the main cause of process variations. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain the reactor acid concentration at a constant level by regulating the supply of fresh catalyst and pumping out any spent acid. The main reasons for the decrease in the H2SO4 concentration are accumulation of high-molecular organic compounds and dilution by water. One way to improve and predict unsteady alkylation processes is to develop a mathematical model that considers catalyst deactivation. In the present work, the formation reactions of undesired substances were used in the description of the alkylation process, indicating the sensitivity of the prediction to H2SO4 activity variations. This was used for calculation the optimal technological modes ensuring the maximum selectivity and stability of the chemical–technological system under varying hydrocarbon feedstock compositions.