Browse Prior Art Database

Tetramerisation Process Technology Review Disclosure Number: IPCOM000029794D
Publication Date: 2004-Jul-13

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database

Related People

H Hartman: ATTORNEY [+2]

Related Documents

WO 04056478: PATAPP [+1]


Ethylene oligomerisation technologies, whether in the production of unselective or selective alpha olefins or polymer, have many process technologies in common. As such, a review of the technologies serves as a good basis on which to find an optimal configuration for any specific oligomerisation technology required. It has been found that the literature contains many technology alternatives for all process aspects of a typical homogeneous selective oligomerisation technology including catalyst preparation, feed material preparation, reactor and heat removal design and control, polymeric solids handling in both the reactor and work-up sections, different options for ethylene and product recovery, catalyst deactivation techniques, catalyst and polymeric material removal techniques and product work options

This text was extracted from a Microsoft Word document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 4% of the total text.










Tetramerisation Process Technology Review

R. Walsh, A. Spamer, Sasol Technology Pty (Ltd), P.O. Box 1, Sasolburg, South Africa, 1947
Table of Contents

1        Introduction  3

2      Catalyst Preparation. 4

2.1            Presence of Ethylene. 5

2.2       Ex-situ vs. In-situ Preparation  6

2.3            Premixing  7

3      Solvent Choice. 8

3.1            Solvent Preparation Section. 9

4      Reactor Section. 10

4.1            Reactor Type. 11

4.2            Process Conditions. 11

4.3            Polymer Formation Inhibition and Handling. 12

4.4            Heat Removal Concepts. 13

4.5            Mass Transfer Implications  16

4.6       In-situ Product Removal 17

4.7            Solvent Wash. 17

4.8            Ethylene Tetramerisation Reactor Options  17

5      Primary Work-up Section. 18

5.1            Ethylene Recovery. 18

5.2            Catalyst Deactivation  19

5.3            Product Recovery. 20

5.4            Solids Handling. 20

5.5            Catalyst Removal 21

6      Product Work-up Section. 23

7      Plant Flexibility. 24

8        Conclusions  25


1         Introduction

In industry, the primary use of ethylene is in the formation of polyethylene. Three broad categories of ethylene reaction routes can be identified. These are (i) the selective oligomerisation of ethylene to specific alpha olefins such as 1-butene, 1-hexene or 1-octene, (ii) the unselective oligomerisation of ethylene to produce a range of alpha olefins such as generated in Linear Alpha Olefin technologies, and (iii) the polymerisation or co-polymerisation of ethylene to polymers.

The global demand for 1-hexene and 1-octene is expanding faster than that for the higher olefins.  The current trend is towards processes with catalytic formulations designed to produce more Linear Alpha Olefins (LAO’s) in the C4–C10 range.[1]  The approach which seems to be receiving the most attention at this stage is selective ethylene oligomerisation.

The three largest full range producers of LAO’s via ethylene oligomerisation are Shell, BP Amoco and Chevron Phillips. An inherent feature of the chemistry of these metal catalysed ethylene oligomerisation processes is that they produce a mathematical distribution (Schulz-Flory or Poisson) of alpha olefins which very often does not match market demand. While this is a fairly mature technology that is not receiving much research attention, many of the lessons learnt here are applicable in selective oligomerisation technologies.

Similarly, ethylene polymerisation technologies have benefited from and given benefit to the oligomerisation technologies.

While each technology route has certain unique characteristics as determined by specific choices such as catalyst, solvent or reactor type, there is much that is in common be...