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Light Cycle Oil Upgrading to Benzene, Toluene, and Xylenes by Hydrocracking: Studies Using Model Mixtures

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journal contribution
posted on 07.09.2017, 00:00 by Georgina C. Laredo, Patricia Pérez-Romo, José Escobar, José Luis Garcia-Gutierrez, Pedro M. Vega-Merino
The regular use of light cycle oil (LCO) for diesel fuel production by hydrotreatment (HDT) procedures has been facing difficulties of complying with the currently stricter environmental regulations due to the low quality of this middle distillate with high sulfur, nitrogen, and aromatic contents. An interesting alternative is to obtain valuable petrochemicals from this feedstock. LCO presents a high percentage of diaromatic hydrocarbons (naphthalene derivatives). To facilitate the study of the effect of the experimental conditions, a review regarding the hydrogenation-hydrocracking (HYD-HCK) procedures for obtaining enriched streams containing benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX) from model mixtures (naphthalene, methylnaphthalenes, and tetralin) is presented. In addition to the economic advantages of using a middle distillate of reduced marketability, this research work opens the door to the development of technologies for obtaining valuable chemicals such as BTX from oil sources. The focus on model mixture studies facilitated the understanding of the involved kinetics and mechanisms and the effect of the experimental conditions on the chemical composition of the products as well.

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