MANUAL Published: 29 April 2013

Hydroisomerization of Paraffins in Light Naphthas and Lube Oils for Quality Improvement


Growing environmental concerns over the last two decades has not only added impetus for catalyst research but has also resulted in improvement in the oil refining processes. As a result, hydroisomerization of n- paraffins has seen significant improvements, both in terms of catalyst design and processes, resulting in one of the important processes to improve fuel and lube oil quality in the petroleum industry. Today, hydroisomerization of light naphtha, particularly C5 and C6 n-paraffins, has gained importance because of its ability to produce gasoline blend stock with the desired research octane number (RON) in view of the stringent gasoline specifications being implemented worldwide. Likewise, the catalytic hydroconversion of long-chain n-paraffins to isoparaffins, so as to produce groups II and III lube oil base stocks (LOBS) having excellent cold flow properties and superior yields, has depicted an immense growth rate because of the emergent demand for highquality lube for automobile and industrial applications. Hydroisomerization of n-paraffins is typically performed over bifunctional catalysts containing metallic sites, mainly platinum/palladium, for hydrogenation/dehydrogenation and mild acid sites for skeletal isomerization via carbenium ions. Thus, acidic support viz. alumina, zeolites, and mixed oxides is used for such conversions. Such supports not only offer flexibility to tailor their acidity and textural properties but also offer a platform for high metal dispersion, which is essential for hydroisomerization. In view of the above, the scope of this chapter is to understand the chemistry and development of hydroisomerization catalysts, the evolution of hydroisomerization processes based on these developments, and to bring out future challenges and opportunities.

Author Information

Newalkar, B., L.
Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Ltd., Greater Noida, IN
Choudary, N., V.
Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Ltd., Greater Noida, IN
Siddiqui, M., A.
Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Ltd., Greater Noida, IN
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Developed by Committee: D02
Pages: 159–176
DOI: 10.1520/MNL5820131211907
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-8681-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7022-3