Honeywell UOP introduced the kerosene Unicracking process, which converts surplus kerosene into heavy naphtha to feed the growing demand for petrochemicals. Developed at Honeywell India Technology Center (HITC) in Gurgaon, the technology can improve the profitability of the Indian refiners by raising production of naphtha used to make petrochemicals for plastic resins, films and fibers.
With global demand for fuels forecast to peak around the year 2035, many Indian refiners are planning to expand into petrochemicals. The petrochemical industry currently accounts for about 2 percent of India’s gross domestic product (GDP), and 16 percent of its manufacturing output.
The UOP kerosene Unicracking process repurposes surplus quantities of kerosene from India’s public distribution system (PDS) created by the Indian government’s promotion of cleaner-burning domestic fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), providing refiners with an economically attractive use for that kerosene.
“The growing urban population and demand for energy in India is driving demand for petrochemicals,” said Mike Banach, regional general manager, Honeywell UOP, India. “The kerosene Unicracking process, developed specifically for India, will allow refiners to efficiently convert surplus kerosene production into the heavy naphtha and LPG feedstocks needed to make these petrochemicals.”
The kerosene Unicracking process is one component of the “Refinery of the Future,” a capital investment philosophy developed by UOP that provides refineries with a strategic pathway to transform from fuels-based refineries to more agile producers of petrochemicals. The new process technology allows refineries that currently are geared for production of kerosene – typically used as jet fuel – to upgrade that kerosene into higher-value petrochemical feedstocks.
The kerosene Unicracking process allows refiners to operate at higher severity to convert kerosene into naphtha and LPG when demand for those products is high. On the other hand, those same refiners can operate at lower severity to produce more high quality kerosene and diesel fuel when demand for those products is high. It provides flexibility in operations where this technology can be deployed either as a new unit or by revamping an existing hydroprocessing unit.