UOP, a business unit of Honeywell, has been selected by two Chinese petrochemical producers to provide UOP process technology.

The UOP C4 Oleflex process will be used by the Shandong Huachao Chemical to produce isobutylene, which is a key ingredient for fuels and synthetic rubber.

Zibo Qixiang Tengda Chemical intends to use the UOP Butamer process to transform normal butane to isobutene, as well as C3/C4 Oleflex process to convert isobutane to isobutylene and propane to propylene for the production of plastics.

Once in operation, the Shandong Huachao facility will process about 200,000 metric tons of isobutene and Zibo Qixiang Tengda will process around 400,000 metric tons of propane and butane feedstocks, while these are expected to start up in 2016.

UOP will provide the engineering design, catalysts, adsorbents, equipment, staff training and technical service for both projects, in addition to the technology licensing.

UOP process technology and equipment business unit senior vice president and general manager Pete Piotrowski said that China has rapidly emerged as one of the largest petrochemical producers in Asia.

"In the last three years, UOP has licensed technology to produce more than 8 million metric tons of these key petrochemicals globally, including more than 5.4 million metric tons in China, and we look forward to continuing to provide efficient, cost-effective technology solutions to support the world’s increasing demand," Piotrowski added.

By using catalytic dehydrogenation, the UOP Oleflex process converts propane to propylene and isobutane to isobutylene, while the UOP Butamer process uses high-activity, chloride-promoted catalysts in the presence of hydrogen to convert isobutane to normal butane.