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Valero Energy Corp. has commissioned a new alkylation complex based on novel proprietary process technology from Lummus Technology LLC at subsidiary Valero Refining New Orleans LLC’s 340,000-b/d St. Charles refinery in Norco, La. (OGJ Online, Apr. 25, 2019).

With a high-octane alkylate production capacity of 17,000 b/sd, the St. Charles refinery’s new alkylation complex is equipped with Lummus’s CDAlky C5 alkylation process, which uses a low-temperature sulfuric acid alkylation process to convert C5 olefins from sources such as FCCs or steam crackers into alkylate by reacting the light olefins streams with isoparaffins, Lummus said on Mar. 1.

The St. Charles alkylation complex includes a CDHydro depentanizer column for recovery of C5 olefins from light catalytic-cracked (light cat) naphtha and removal of feedstock impurities, as well as the CDAlky unit—the first in the world—to covert C5 olefins into alkylate product with minimum acid consumption, according to the service provider.

Lummus said it received a contract award for the St. Charles project from Valero in 2016, under which it delivered technology licensing and basic engineering design for the complex, including design of the CDHydro depentanizer, C5 CDAlky unit, as well as technical services support for commissioning, startup, and unit performance testing. At the time, the CDAlky unit was to produce 25,000 b/d of alkylate from FCC-derived olefin feedstocks at the site (OGJ Online, Mar. 1, 2018).


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