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Innovation and R&D with the STRATCO® Alkylation Technology

Innovation and R&D with STRATCO® Alkylation Technology

The STRATCO® alkylation technology  is established as the worldwide leader is sulfuric acid alkylation with almost 100 years of experience.  Elessent continues to build on that legacy by operating and maintaining an extensive research and development program.

The efforts of this R&D group are focused in the following areas:
  • Improving the current technology, including the mechanics of the Contactor Reactor  
  • Evaluating next generation reactor systems  
  • Commercial sampling 
  • Improving product property correlations for various olefin feed types  
  • Determining optimum reaction conditions for unique olefin feeds
  • Characterization of reactor effluent  

The STRATCO® alkylation technology continues to be the worldwide leader in alkylation technology by constantly innovating and driving the industry forward. 

At the core of the STRATCO® alkylation technology is the Contactor™ Reactor which is vital for both the reliability and performance of the alkylation unit. Elessent is able to offer refiners flexibility thanks to the wide range of reactor sizes designed to suit different refinery needs.

Reactor Technology

The STRATCO® alkylation technology optimizes the reaction zone by having acid flow in series between reaction stages.  

By staging the acid this way, the STRATCO® alkylation technology is able to alkylate the majority of the olefins in the optimum acid strength range for octane, while also alkylating a portion of the olefins at lower spending strengths to minimize acid regeneration costs.  In contrast, an auto-refrigerated reactor operates at a singular acid strength throughout the reaction zone, thereby reducing alkylate octane and increasing sulfuric acid consumption. This innovation, pioneered by Elessent Clean Technologies, allows for an optimized reaction zone that produces the maximum alkylate octane and lowest acid regeneration costs.

Elessent has recently improved the process design of the STRATCO® alkylation technology to include dry alumina adsorption rather than the traditional “wet” effluent treating system. The dry alumina adsorption system results in a significant reduction in equipment and instrumentation count leading to CAPEX and OPEX savings for the refiner.

Elessent conducts alkylation pilot plant testing at its technology center located in Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.A. This facility houses multiple bench scale pilot plants that simulate the reaction section of a STRATCO® sulfuric acid alkylation unit.   

The technology center is also home to reactor prototypes in development and the active research and development program.

Elessent has completed a commercial blending study proving that the blending octane of alkylate is much higher than a linear blend model would predict. This information is crucial for refiners looking to effectively manage their gasoline pool octane and proves alkylate’s value as a premium gasoline blending component.

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