KBR Adds Isomerization Technologies
KBR has acquired isomerization technologies from RRT Global, enabling the US engineering and construction company to offer expanded octane and clean fuel processes. RRT Global is a Russian-based company – and existing partner of KBR - that specializes in developing technologies for oil refining.
The companies have operated an alliance since 2015, offering MAX-ISOM catalytic distillation technology for the isomerization of C5 and C6 n-paraffins to boost gasoline pool octane. The isomerization of C5 and C6 streams improves the octane rating of light straight run naphtha, KBR explained.
The acquisition gives KBR the patented technology and intellectual property rights to offer MAX-ISOM globally as well as isomerization technologies for C4 and C7 streams. Isomerization of C4 streams produces a more desirable feedstock for alkylation units while C7 isomerization can be applied to upgrade low-octane C7 streams to produce isomerate that can be blended directly in the gasoline pool, KBR said.
The contractor added that unlike conventional fixed-bed isomerization technologies, MAX-ISOM can accommodate high benzene content in the feed due to its unique catalytic distillation column design.
Global fuel specifications have been tightening on the sulfur, benzene, olefins and total aromatics content of gasoline. KBR said isomerization offers refiners a higher octane gasoline blend stock that is free from benzene, aromatics, oxygenates and olefins.