Case Study

Enhancing Isobutane Feedstock Quality for a Gulf Coast Refiner

At Vapor Point, we understand the challenges the Oil & Gas industry faces when it comes to controlling hazardous and regulated emissions.

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Vapor Point: Enhancing Isobutane Feedstock Quality for a Gulf Coast Refiner

We understand the challenges faced by our clients, and we're committed to finding effective solutions. A Gulf Coast Refiner reached out to Vapor Point with a specific concern - the presence of methyl mercaptan in their isobutane stream, used as feedstock for their alkylation unit. The purchased isobutane contained hydrogen sulfide, ethyl/propyl/butyl mercaptans, corrosion byproducts, amine degradation byproducts, and some moisture. These contaminants posed integrity issues and could compromise the performance of the acid, resulting in off-spec alkylate gasoline with reactive sulfur contamination and undesirable corrosion ratings.

Vapor Point stepped in with a reliable solution to ensure the feedstock's reliability and enhance its quality for the alkylation unit. Our treatment program focused on removing mercaptans, including the historically predominant methyl mercaptans. The process was also designed to extract and eliminate other organic sulfur species, preventing any negative impact on the HF alkylation process.

Isobutane was delivered to the client's truck offloading facility, and from there, it was directed to the Vapor Point SulfurDestroyerTM system. Our comprehensive design included prefiltration, the SulfurDestroyerTM system for reaction and removal of contaminants, and post-treatment filtration and coalescing.

Prefiltration played a vital role in managing potential contaminants and reaction byproducts from upstream operations, including the notorious "black powder" resulting from corrosion byproducts. By preventing significant suspensions from entering the SulfurDestroyerTM process, we ensured its optimal run length capabilities. The final step involved post filtration to remove any carryover products and free water, maintaining the hygiene of the treatment system.

The results have been impressive. Since 2017, we have treated over 26,827,500 gallons of isobutane, consistently surpassing the refinery's goal of less than 25 ppm total sulfur in the alkylation unit feed. By eliminating contaminants, we have enabled the production of low sulfur gasoline blend stocks, while safeguarding against corrosion and maintaining catalytic performance. Our solution has provided the refinery with the predictability and quality they need for their isobutane feedstock.

At Vapor Point, we are dedicated to delivering exceptional results and exceeding client expectations. Contact us today to discover how our expertise can help optimize your processes and enhance your product quality.

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