Brant Aggus - Koch-Glitsch, LP
The unique DTL™ process technology converts light olefins leaving an FCC gas plant to fuel gas header and other unsaturated gas streams into stable high-octane gasoline blend stock. This commercially proven technology is successfully operating in 12 refineries with another unit under construction.
DTL technology uses proprietary dry catalysts that oligomerize, isomerize and aromatize light olefins, such as ethylene, propylene and butylene, into high octane gasoline. This process provides high olefin conversion (>95%) with 75 wt% C5+ liquid yield containing low benzene content and an additional 10 wt% C4 yield that can also be blended to the gasoline pool. The reactions of DTL technology are exothermic; therefore, the reactor temperatures are controlled by lean olefin fuel gas injection (using a slip stream from the lean olefinic fuel gas leaving the unit) or by cooling water injection. This technology uses standard refinery equipment, such as fixed-bed reactors, absorption column and fired or electrical heaters, and can be integrated into the refinery downstream of the FCC gas plant.
DTL technology also provides benefits to propylene producing FCC units by recovering gasoline yield loss to ethylene and butylene in the making of on-purpose propylene to high octane gasoline. This gives refiners the flexibility to take advantage of high propylene prices without worrying about excess fuel gas production.
The highly exothermic reactions coupled with energy integration results in low variable costs, while the compact footprint, low operating pressure and reduced number of unit operations minimizes CAPEX. In totality, these attributes can enable a profitable investment to capture value from the light olefins currently being burned as fuel.
Brant Aggus is Senior Refining Technologist for INVISTA Performance Technologies (IPT) and has worked in the refining space since 2000 as process engineer in engineering design, operations engineering, and consulting. He started working for Koch Industries’ Flint Hills Resources Corpus Christi Refining Complex in 2012 and recently join INVISTA, a Koch Company, in support of refining technology licensing and business development.