Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



The goal of this project was to design a process to produce 1B pounds of benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX) per year in an unspecified ratio using a ZSM-5 catalyst in accordance with US Patent 8,278,237. Our process will be located in the Gulf of Mexico and will produce primarily benzene and a small amount of paraxylene for the purposes of selling to industrial clients. In this report, we present a design that yields 1.1B lb/yr of benzene with a purity of 97 mol% and 33 MM lb/yr of paraxylene with a purity of 99.8 mol% as the primary products. Additionally, 400 MM lb/yr of naphthalene with a purity of 99.7 mol% is produced as a byproduct. Due to the scale of this assignment, this process involves the heavy use of utilities, especially electricity and cooling water. The process requires $347 MM in total capital investment. Despite this, the process we present has an NPV of $285MM and an ROI of 28.4% after the third year. It should be noted that our process produces 673,000 tons of CO2 per year. Based on the ROI and NPV of this process, we recommend that management proceed with plans to bring our process into operation while increasing efforts to further research the catalyst and market dynamics.



Date Posted: 04 May 2015