Sealless Pump Design Tackles HF Alkylation

Hydrofluoric acid alkylation is a chemical/hydrocarbon processing application which poses challenges to process operators. These include but are not limited to the risks associated with the handling of a lethal, highly corrosive fluid, which pose a potential hazard to plant equipment, the people who work on site, and the environment, should leaks occur. Magnetic drive sealless pumps featuring new technologies, specifically designed for use in Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) Alkylation, have been developed in response to the challenges of handling HF acid.

HF Alkylation is the combination of olefins (primarily a mixture of propylene and butylene) and isobutene, which produce alkylate in the presence of a hydrofluoric acid catalyst. A high-octane additive, alkylate is a critical safety component that offsets the high vapour pressure of the ethanol mandated in today’s low-sulphur unleaded petrol and gasoline supplies. The continual tightening of clean fuels’ legislation has increased the demand for alkylate, which is responsible for the anti-knocking property of unleaded petrol/gasoline in modern vehicles.

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Sara Mathov is a feature editor contributing to Fugitive Emissions Journal, Stainless steel World Americas, and other related print & online media.