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Platinum Metals Rev., 1960, 4, (3), 110

Powerforming in the Esso Refinery at Cologne

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The new £18 million oil refinery recently put on stream by Esso A.G., Cologne, represents a major addition to German oil refining capacity. Situated near the Ruhr where the principal consumers of fuel oils are concentrated, a range of fuel oils will form over 50 per cent of the plant’s annual capacity of 3.5 million metric tons. Diesel fuels will constitute about 25 per cent of output, the remainder being high-octane petrol and raw materials for a variety of petrochemical processes.

Production within the refinery is based on an Aramco feed stock having a research octane number from 25 to 45 and a boiling range from 160 to 400°F. To achieve a substantial up-grading and to yield fuel of research octane numbers exceeding 100, a Powerforming plant of 9000 B/SD capacity is installed.

Powerforming, developed in 1954 by the Esso Research and Engineering Co., New York, is a fixed-bed catalytic reforming process employing a platinum catalyst.

The principal reactions within the Power-former are the dehydrogenation and dehydroisomerisation of feed stock naphthenes, together with dehydrocyclisation of paraffins. Undesirable hydrocracking is kept to a minimum. Four reactors in series with intermediate reheat furnaces are in operation, together with a swing reactor which enables each catalyst charge to be regenerated without loss of production.

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