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Olefins and Solvents

Olefins and Solvents


thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions licenses processes for the production of C4 olefins from mixed C4 streams and solvents by processing propene, C4 olefins, acetone and methanol.

Solvent production

  • Direct hydration of n-butenes to secondary butanol (SBA) and dehydrogenation of SBA to methyl ethyl ketone (MEK)
  • Condensation, dehydration and hydrogenation of acetone to methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK)
  • Direct hydration of propene to isopropanol (IPA)
  • Condensation and dehydration of methanol to high-purity dimethyl ether (DME)

C4 Olefins

Production of high-purity C4 olefins via extraction from mixed C4 streams by Uhde BUTENEX® process

Our speciality:

  • State of the art processes using an acidic ion exchange resin instead of sulfuric acid for SBA and IPA production
  • High-purity MEK production based on SBA synthesis in a combined SBA/MEK process
  • MIBK process includes condensation, dehydration and hydrogenation in one process step using a bifunctional catalyst
  • High selectivity, thermal stability and a suitable boiling point are provided by the solvent of the BUTENEX® process
  • The DME process combines the advantages of a reliable and proven technology with low investment and low production costs; according to demand, the DME purity is varied from fuel grade (above 98%) up to high purity aerosol grade (>99.99%)

Process Flow Sheets of Olefin and Solvent Production

Within thyssenkrupp SBA process, secondary butanol is formed by direct hydration of n-butenes with water in the presence of a strongly acidic ion exchange resin catalyst. In a second step raw SBA is subsequently distilled to a purity exceeding 99.0%.

Advantages in comparison to sulfuric acid process:

  • Forms less by product

  • Lower utilities consumption

  • Requires no chemicals

  • Environmentally friendly as it generates no waste

These advantages result in about 25% lower SBA manufacturing costs.

References Refining


OMV Petrom S. A.

Ploiesti, Romania (Completion 2014)

Capacity: 4.2 million MTPA

Replacement of heater tubes and instrumentation, crude transfer line, corrosion monitoring system and atmospheric column nozzle

Scope: Extended study, DE, construction supervision and commissioning