Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version

4-2013

Abstract

A chemical plant was theoretically designed to produce approximately 100 MMlbs/yr of linear alpha olefins (LAOs). 1-hexene and 1-octene were the products of the trimerization and tetramerization reactions as mentioned in the patent (US 8,076,523 B2). Based on the patent, a continuous homogeneous liquid reaction was carried out in a 30,000 gallon CSTR using a chromium based catalyst, with an activator and varying ligands for both the trimerization and tetramerization reactions. Plant calculations were performed, and the plant design simulation was completed on ASPEN PLUS®.

The designed plant had the flexibility to switch between a 40:60% and 60:40% 1-hexene:1- octene by varying the amount of catalyst fed to the system. Product purity was 99.9% for 1- hexene and 99.0% for 1-octene, as required by the market. The plant despite its significant upfront capital investments ($43M) was estimated to be a profitable business venture with an IRR of 19%, greater than the return on investment (ROI) of 15.5%, as well as producing a positive net present value of $7.8M, assuming the plant is in operation for 15 years. Based on the economic potential of this process, the design group recommends construction of this plant with recommendations.

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Date Posted: 25 July 2014