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Патент USA US2404649

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Äuìy 23, î946.
M; NEUHAUS
IsoMERIzING HYDRocARBoNs
Filed Jan. 26, 1945
mw60
Al *
2,404,649 _
Patented `Íuly 23, 1946
2,404,649
« UNITED 'STATES PA'rsN'r4 orrlcl:i
IsoMERIzING HYDRooAR‘BoNs
Max Neuhaus, Bronxville, N. Y., assignor to The
ILl‘exas Company, New York, N.- Y., a corporation
of Delaware
Application January 26, 1943, Serial No. 473,581
10 Claims.
1
t
This invention relates to isomerizing hydrocar
bons and more particularly to effecting the con
version by contact with a liquid isomerization
catalyst.
.
Y
_
2
.
\
l
carbons and some higher boiling `material that
maybe formed in the reaction.
These phases may be separately withdrawn,
the «catalyst phase being recycled.
.
The with
drawn hydrocarbon phase is advantageously sub
jected to fractionation or fractional distillation
The` invention contemplates eiîecting isomeri
zation of hydrocarbons in a reaction zone where
in hydrocarbons undergoing conversion by con
so as to separate unreacted hydrocarbons from
any higher boiling material present, such higher
tact with a liquid isomeri‘zation catalyst are sub
boiling material being discharged from the sys
jected to continuous countercurrent contact un
der conditions such` Athat isomerization consti 10 tem. The unreacted hydrocarbons so obtained
tutes the principal reaction.
are returned to the lower portion of the tower,
preferably at a temperature suiîlciently elevated
More speciñcally the invention involves effect
so as to provide the necessary reboiling action
ing the isomerization reaction in a packed tower
in the bottom of the tower whereby substantial
or preferably a bubble tray type of tower having
provision for the continuous recycling of the 15 vaporization of hydrocarbons within the tower
liquid catalyst through the tower. The liquid
catalyst advantageously comprises a catalyst such
is eiîected.
`
'
3
l The temperature at the top of the tower may
be controlled by cooling as, for example, by re
as a metallic halide-hydrocarbon complex which
is of greater specific gravity than the hydrocar
turn of part of the isomerized stream as a re
bons undergoing conversion.
20 ñuX. »
In short, the operation involves effecting sub
The invention has particular application to the
stantially simultaneous isomerization of the feed
isomerization of saturated gasoline hydrocarbons
hydrocarbon and fractionation between reacted
such as normal `pentane, hexane and heptane, al
and unreacted hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbons
though it may be appplied to other hydrocarbons
including normal butane. ì
25 in passing through the tower‘are thus subjected
In accordance with the invention the reaction
is carried out in a packed tower advantageously
repeatedly to alternate` vaporization and con
of the bubble tray type. The feed hydrocarbon
One advantage ofthe invention, as practiced
in a bubble tower reactor, resides in realizing
highly effective contact between the liquid‘cata
densation.
such as normal pentane is continuously intro
duced to the lower portion of the tower, while a
stream of catalyst such as aluminum halide-hy
drocarbon complex is continuously introduced to
the upper portion thereof. Conditions of tern
l
Y
lyst and liquid hydrocarbons undergoing treat
perature and pressure are maintained within the
ment on each tray since the vaporized hydrocar
bons are caused to bubble through the liquid hy
drocarbons and liquid catalyst under conditions
tower such that substantial vaporization of the
such that `substantial agitation with consequent
hydrocarbon occurs causing the vaporized hydro
carbon to rise countercurrently to the descend
ing complex catalyst. Contact between the hy
thorough mixing fis realized.
drocarbons undergoing conversion and the cata
lyst is effected in the presence of afsuitable pro
"
`
'
Thus, on each tray'there> are substantial quan
tities of two liquids, i. e., liquid catalyst and liquid
hydrocarbons, both of which overiiow from tray
40 to tray. ` In the quiescent state the normal tend
moter such as a hydrogen halide under conditions
ency is for these liquids to stratify into layers due
such that isomerization constitutes the principal
reaction.
Moreover, operation of the tower is controlled
to the difference in their specinc gravities~ How- y
sothat a stream is continuously withdrawn from
the top> or upper portion of the tower which con
tinual mixing between the liquid hydrocarbons
and liquid catalyst on each tray. Consequently
the isomerization for the most part involves
ever,. the passage- of vaporized- hydrocarbons
through the bubble caps on each tray effects con
sists essentially of the isomerized hydrocarbon.
Liquid catalyst accumulating in the bottom of
isomerization _of the hydrocarbons while in -the
the tower is continuously withdrawn and re
cycled at least in part to the upper portion of 50
"
i,
'
~
‘
`
‘
.
for` a
separation of reacted hydrocarbons from `unre
A acted hydrocarbons;` means for obtaining `from
catalyst phase and a liquid hydrocarbon phase,
the latter comprising mainly unreacted hydro
phase’.
Other advantages include . provision
unitary operation' for eiîecting isomeriza'tion and
the tower.
Provision is also contemplated for accumu
lating in the bottom portion of the tower both a
liquid
the reaction .tower a stream of treated yhydro
55
carbons consisting essentially of the desired,
angela
3
4
Aromatic constituents should be reduced to not
isomerized hydrocarbons; and provision for con
tinuous removal from the reaction zone of higher
more than a fraction of a per cent or at most
boiling hydrocarbons that may be formed in the
reaction, such material being removed substan
tially as rapidly as formed and thereby material
ly reducing catalyst deterioration that would
to about 2 or 3% by weight of the feed hydrocar
tion unless more elevated temperatures are em
otherwise occur.
ployed. In certain instances it may bedesirable
l
_
bon since the presence of even this amount exerts
an inhibiting eifect upon the isomerization reac
,
Moreover, byfem'plo'ying the principle of coun
ter-current contact between liquid catalyst and
to maintain a limited amount of aromatic ma
terial in the reaction carrying out the reaction
at more elevated temperatures so that substan
tial isomerization is obtained. It has been found
hydrocarbons undergoing treatment it is possible
to carry out the conversion reaction under con
ditions which more closely approach realizing the
that undercertain conditions, the presence of
maximum equilibrium concentration of isomerized
such a small amount of aromatic material may Y
hydrocarbons witho-ut encountering excessive
permit carrying out the isomerization reaction at
cracking and other undesired sideA reactions.
The temperature gradient, which exists through
the tower, favors maximum conversion since the
higher temperatures without realizing excessive
cracking.
In ‘this connection anradvantageous
vcracking, inhibitorjcomprises naphthene hydro
carbons such as cyclopentanes, cyclohexanes and
temperature decreases upwardly through the
cycloheptanes. It has been found, for example,
f tower.. A lower temperature near the Vpoint of
catalyst introduction to the reaction zone permits 20 that normal pentane may be isomerized with an
maximum equilibrium concentration of the iso
aluminum halide type of catalyst at temperatures
parafiin in the products leaving the reaction zone.
in the range 160 to 200° F. without substantial
cracking occurring when the reaction Vis carried
Mention has valready been made of a metallic
halide-hydrocarbon complex as one example of a
suitable catalyst.
It is contemplated that such complex be sub
stantially free from undissolved solid metallic
halide. A desirable’ catalyst comprises aluminum
out in the presence of about 10% or so of cyclo
25 hexane by weight of the normal pentane undergo
ing conversion. '
Therefore, one modification of the presentA in
vention involves effecting the reaction in the pres
halide-hydrocarbon complex of such character
ence of a suitable cracking inhibitor'such as a
that> when a minor portion of theV complex is 30' low boiling naphthene hydrocarbon.
In order to describe the invention in more de
mixed with a. major portion of lWater the hea-t
evolved from vthe mixture amounts to‘about 200 to
tail reference will now be made‘to the ‘accom
panying drawing comprising a flow diagram illus
400 and preferably about 300> to 320 calories per
gram of catalyst.
trating one mode of practicing the invention.
For convenience this liberated heatA may be «
referred to as the “heat of hydrolysis.” This is
`
Referring to the drawing a feed hydrocarbon
such as normal pentane is conducted" from a
source not shown through a pipe I to a lower por
determined, for example, by breaking an ampoule
containing a weighed amount of complex, for
example, about 3 grams in a weighed quantity
tion of a reactor 2.
flask or calorimeter initially at about normal room
may be of more or less conventional design hav
ing risers and caps so that a substantial depth of
`
'
The reactor 2 advantageously comprises-a tower
of water about 300 grams contained in a thermos 40 packed with bubble trays 3. The bubble trays
temperature. The mixture is stirred and the rise
in temperature measured.> From this rise in tem
perature the heat’liberated is calculated as cal
ories per gram of complex. The complex may 45
be prepared by reacting aluminum chloride with
kerosene or gasoline hydrocarbons, aliphatic hy
drocarbons in general being preferred. The re
action is effected in the presence of hydrogen
liquid comprising both catalyst andhydr'ocarbons,
may be maintained upon each tray, through which
liquid rising vapors are caused to bubble as they
p-ass upwardly through the tower thereby effect
ing the previously describedmixing between cata
lyst and liquid hydrocarbons. '
»Advantageously a substantial space is provided
chloride or other halide. For example, 1000 parts 50 in the bottom portion of the tower within which
to accumulate liquid descending through the
tower and to which‘reference will be made later.
The catalyst in the form of a liquid complex
substantially free from undissolved solid mate
by weight of anhydrous aluminum chloride pow
derr is mixed with about 1630 parts by weight of
kerosene derived from mixed base crude. This
mixture Vtogether with 50 parts of hydrogen
chloride is charged to a closed reactor and agi
rial is introduced to the upper portion ofthe
tated for about 4 hours at a Vtemperature of about
210° F. The reaction mixture is thereafter cooled
and the contents removed and separated into
tower through a pipe 4.
Fresh
catalyst
from
~
` ' '
ay source not ’ shown
may be introduced continuously or intermittentlyl
phases. The complex phase is removed from the
through a pipe 5 which communicates with the
previously mentioned pipe 4, Other meansI of
hydrocarbon phase and this complex comprises
the liquid complex catalyst.
introducing fresh catalyst may be employed s_uch
While mention has thus been made of alumi
as in solution in a portion of the feed hydro
num chloride in preparing the complex never
carbon.
theless it is contemplated that other metallic
halides including aluminum bromide may be em
ployed.
.
,
"
introduction contains a‘quantity of catalyst liquid'
and hydrocarbon liquid,V the surplus overflowing'
In the practice of the invention it is desirable
which may react with the catalyst causing cata
from an upper tray to a lower tray and eventually
arriving in the settling space at the bottom of
the
70 tower.
lyst" deterioration or which may otherwise react
to form undesired compounds. Such preliminary
treatment-may include acid treatment or solvent
extraction. Oleiins may be removed' by' poly
merization.
'
'
'
'
of the bubble trays below the' point of 'catalyst'
'
to purifyv the feed hydrocarbons to remove oleflnic
and aromatic constituents and other materials
'
In actual operation, as already described, each
'I'he tower is maintained under conditions of
temperature and pressure so that vaporizationv
of hydrocarbon occurs within the tower, thev va
7.5
porized Vhydrocarbons rising upwardly'throughV
the succeeding trays.
Liquefied hydrocarbons
52,404,649r
6
5
through' a pipe I6 to an extractor I'I wherein the
hydrocarbon‘mixture is subjected to contact with
overñ'ow from tray to tray along with the catalyst
and likewiseaccumulate in the lower portion of
the tower.
„
.
Y
a suitable selective solvent.
o
When charging normal pentane to theA reactor
the hydrocarbons collecting in the top of the
tower will comprise essentially isopentane which
is substantially lower boiling than normal pen
tane;
Normal pentane will accumulate in the
`
.
This solvent is one which has preferential sol’
vent action upon naphthenic constituents and
thus exerts selective solvent action as between
naphthenes and paratlins.
Suitable examples of a selective solvent com
prise furfural, phenol, -nitrobenzene, sulfur di
molecular weight material which may be formed 10 oxide, etc.
The resulting raffinate phase comprising paraf
during the reaction.
ñn hydrocarbons and some solvent is discharged
Thus, in the bottom portion of the „tower there
through agpipe I8 for such further treatment as
will accumulatetwo phases, namely a catalyst
may be desired including recovery of the solvent
phase and a hydrocarbon phase. `The catalyst
phase is drawn oiï from the bottom of the tower 15 therefrom. The extract phase comprising the
main body-ofthe solvent with the naphthene hy
through a pipe S. `All or a portion thereof is con
drocarbons dissolved therein is drawn off through
ducted through a branch pipe ‘I which commu
a pipe I9 to a suitable solvent recovery unit 29
nicatesV with the previously mentioned pipe 4 and
wherein the solvent is removed from the naph
through which latter the withdrawn complex is
thene hydrocarbons,
returned to the tower.
u
The recovered naphthene hydrocarbons are
The hydrocarbon phase is continuously drawn
bottom portion of the tower as well as any higher
off through a pipe 8 and all or in part conducted
to a fractionator or stripper 9 wherein the `un
reacted
feed
hydrocarbon
constituents
are
stripped or separated therefrom, the remainder
or residue comprising the previously mentioned
higher molecular weight material.
conducted all or in part through a pipe 2I which
communicates with the previously mentioned
pipe 4. In this way the recovered naphthene
hydrocarbon is returned to the reaction zone to
serve as `an inhibitor of cracking in the conver~
sion of freshl‘feed hydrocarbon.
'
The isoparaflin which accumulatesin the top
The fraction comprising unreacted hydrocar
bons is then _recycled through a pipe Iû to the
lower portion of the reactor preferably at a point
above that at which it was withdrawn but below
the point at which fresh feed is being introduced
to the tower. The amount of hydrocarbons so
portion Yof the »tower is continuously withdrawn
through a pipe 22 communicating with a con
denser and cooler 23. From the condenserI 23' the
liquefied hydrocarbons pass to a receiver 24.
Gaseous constituents may be released through a
pipe 25. A portion of the isoparañin accumulat
recycled and the temperature at which it is `_re
ing in the receiver 24 may be recycled through a
cycled, being such as to supply a substantial 35 pipe
2B to the upper portion of the reactor 2 to
amount of heat to the bottom portion of the
provide reñux cooling therein.
tower thereby causing substantial vaporization
The amount so refluxed will depend to a large
within the tower. These hydrocarbons may be
extent upon the amount of heat being added at
recycled in vapor form.
As indicated in the drawing the promoter such 40 the bottom of the tower.
Isoparafñn hydrocarbons not so refluxed to the
as hydrogen chloride may be continually added
top
of the tower are continuously discharged
from a source not shown through pipes II and
through a pipe 21.
I2 communicating with the previously mentioned
The `specific procedure described above for
pipes I and II). In this way the promoter may be
treating
the hydrocarbon phase withdrawn from
45
introduced to the reaction zone. Other means of
the tower through the pipe 8 may vary consid
injecting `the promoter to the reaction zone `may
be employed.
,
The residual fraction of the withdrawn hydro
carbon phase may b-e discharged from the bottom
of the fractionator 9 through a pipe I3.
When the hydrocarbon phase withdrawn
through the pipe 8 is substantially free from
higher molecular‘weight material it may be re
cycled without the above-described fractionation
but after heating suniciently to supply the re
quired amount of vaporization in the bottom por
tion of the reactor.
On the other hand when the reaction is being
erably; for example, azeotropicfjdistillation may
be resorted to for the purpose of separating naph
thenes from parañins.
`,
.
It will be realized that in operating the reac
tor 2 a temperature differential will exist between
thetop and bottom _thereof which may be of the
order of aboutlO to 50° F. '
u
` ‘
The point at which the recycled complex is re
turned to the reactor may be varied as desired
but usually it is advantageous to return it to the
tower at a point where the concentration of the
‘isomerized hydrocarbon' in the reaction mixture is
equal to or less than the'equilibrium concentra
eiîected in the presence of an added naphthene
hydrocarbon it Vis desirable to subject the with 60 tion. In other words, if it is introduced at a
point at which the concentration is greater than
drawn hydrocarbon phase to additional treating
the equilibrium concentration reversion reactions
steps, so that the naphthene may be segregated
Vrnay occur.
‘
therefrom to permit its return to the upper por
tion of the reactor.
`
While mention has been made of applying the
Thus, the residual fraction drawn off from the 65 process to normally liquid hydrocarbons, never
theless it is also contemplated that it may be ap
fractionator 9 through pipe I3 may be conducted
plied to the isomerization of normal butane. In
all or in part through a pipe I4 to another frac- '
tionator I5 wherein the residual hydrocarbon>
mixture may be separated into a light fraction
comprising the naphthene hydrocarbons `and hy
. isomerizing normal butane the> reaction may be
carried out under a pressure of 250 pounds and
at an average temperature of about 210° F. ob
drocarbons boiling within the same range but
which may have been formed* in the isomeriza
taining a distillate fraction overhead through the
tion reaction, and a heavier fraction.
morel of isobutane.
`
The heavier fraction is discharged from theî
pipe- 22 which may comprise as much as 98% or
The process is particularly applicable to the
system while the light fraction maybe conducted 7,5 treatment 0f; individual hydrßßarbßne auch as
attrici-cf>
7
8 .
normal butano, normal pentane, normal hexane',
etc., rather than mixtures composed ‘of hydrocar-V
bubble trays, ‘continuously introducing> catalyst
complexto the upper portion of said tower, ‘said
complex liquid being substantially free from un-.
dissolved solid aluminum halide continuously in
troducing feed hydrocarbon to the lowerrportion
bons of different molecular weights'. In speaking
of individual hydrocarbons, it is, of course, con
templated that the feed may Ycomprise petroleum
or hydrocarbon fractions consisting essentially of
of said tower, supplyi-ngheat tothe lower `por
the individual hydrocarbon or as in the case of a
tion of said tower sumcient to :effect fractiona-v
Cs or Cv fraction‘consisting essentially of a mix~
tion within the `to‘wer'between reacted andrunre
acted hydrocarbons, continuously withdrawing
ture of hydrocarbons having the same number of
carbon atoms per molecule.
V
reacted feed hydrocarbons in vapor form from the
l Reaction temperatures and pressures will de
top of saidtower said hydrocarbons consisting
essentially of isomerized hydrocarbons, continu
pend upon the natureY of the feed undergoing
treatment. Where the feed consists essentially
ously withdrawing catalyst complex from the bot
of normal butane a reaction temperature of aboutl
200 to 220° li". is advantageous With higher mo
tom of said towerfrecycling withdrawn complex
lecular weight hydrocarbons correspondingly low~
contact between descending complex and rising`
to the upper portion of said tower, and effecting
er temperatures are.” employed unless the reac
tion is yeffected in the presence- of an ßinhibitor
such as nap‘hthene hydrocarbons. 4In such case
hydrocarbons such as. normal pentane, normal
hydrocarbons‘w'ithin the tower in the presence of Y
hydrogen halide under conditions such that isom- i
erization constitutes the principal reaction.
5.'A process for isomerizing saturated hydro~
hexane, etc., vmay be isomerized at temperatures
carbons by contact with an isomerization catalyst i
which arev also in the range about 200 to 250°?.
While specific mention of metallic halide-'hy
drocarbon complexes as catalysts has been made,
consisting essentially of aluminum halide-hydro-V
carbon complex liquid, which comprises effecting
the reaction ina bubble tray tower, passingihy
it is intended that other liquid isomei‘ization cata ., drocarbons ’undergoing conversion upwardly
lysts may be employed, which areI heavier‘than
through said tower countercurre'ntly'to descend
the hydrocarbons 'undergoing treatment and
ing catalyst under conditions such that isomer- ‘
which are substantially immiscible therewith un
ization constitutes the principal reaction, said
der the conditions prevailing within the reaction
complex being substantially free from undissolved
ZOIle.
.
.
y
Obviously many modifications andyariations of
the invention as above set forth may be made
Without departing from the spirit'a'nd scope there
of, and therefore only such limitationsV should be
.it
solid aluminum halide and characterized by hav
ing a heat of hydrolysis in the rangeY 200 to' 400
calories per gram of complex, introducing feed
hydrocarbon to a lower portion of> said- tower,-
accumulating in said tower below the point of
' imposed as are indicated in the appended claims. "" feed hydrocarbon introduction a liquid catalyst
I claim:
'
_
phase and a liquid hydrocarbon phase, separately
l. A process for isomeriz'ing saturated hydro
carbons by contact, in the presence of hydrogen
halide, with an isomerization catalyst consisting
withdrawing said phases from the tower, recy
undergoing conversion through a reaction zone
countercurrently to a body of said complex cata
hydrocarbon phase, returning the heated hydro
cling withdrawn catalyst phase to‘ the upper por
tion of the tower at a point substantially above
essentially of aluminum halide-hydrocarbon com 40 that at which feed hydrocarbon is introduced,
plex liquid which comprises passing hydrocarbon
vaporizing at least a portion of said withdrawn
lyst substantially freefrom undissolved solid alu
minum halide and characterized by having a heat
lof hydrolysis'in ,the îrange 200 to 400 calories per
gram of complèn'ïsubjecting hydrocarbons pass
ing through said Zone' repeatedly to alternate
vaporization and condensation while in contact
with the catalyst, continuously removing from
lsaid zone a treated hydrocarbon stream consistm
carbon phase to the tower at a point below that'
at which feed hydrocarbons are introduced in
such amount. and at suihcientetempe‘rature to
cause substantial vapor’iZat-ion of hydrocarbons
withinl the tower'and' controlling the ,tempera
ture at the top of said tower to remove’ continu
ously a stream` consisting essentially of isomer
ed ized hydrocarbons.
'
6. A processV for isomerizing normal par'ailin
ing essentially of isomerized hydrocarbons, sepa
ratcly withdrawing complex catalyst after contact
with entering feed and and returning withdrawn
Íhydrocarbons having 4 to '7 carbon atoms and
normally `free from naphthenic hydrocarbons by
catalyst to the reaction. zone at a point in closer
' essentially of aluminum chloride-hydrocarbon
proximity to the point. of discharge from the re
action zone for isomerized hydrocarbons.
2. The methodaccording to claim 1 in which
the catalyst comprises aluminum chloride-hydro'-`
carbon complex.
u
3. The_method according to claim> 1 in- which
the catalyst comprises an aluminum chloride
hydrocarbon complex and is of such character’>
that when a minor portion `thereof is mixed with
a major> portion of Vwater the heat evolved
amounts to from. about 300 to 320 calories per
contact with an isomerization catalyst consisting
complex liquid, which comprises effecting the ré
action in a bubble tray tower, passinghydrocar
bons undergoing conversion upwardly through
said'tfower countercurrently to descending cata
60 lyst- under conditions such that isomerization
>constitutes th‘eprincipal reaction, said catalyst
'eing' substantially free from _undissolved solid
aiuminum halide and having a heat of. hydrolysis
of aboutSOO to 320 _calories pergram of complex,
introducing feed hydrocarbon to a lower portion
of 'saidtowen accumulating in said Vtower- below
gram of complex, said complex being substan
theV` point of. feed hydrocarbon introduction a liq?
tially free` from» undissolved solid` aluminum
uidV catalyst. phase and a liquid hydrocarbon
halide.
phase, >said hydrocarbon phaseV comprising unre
4. A process for isomerizing saturated hydro 7.0 acted hydrocarbons and' higher boiling hydrocar
carbons by Contact with an isomerizationcatalyst
bons, separately withdrawing said phases, recy
consisting essentially of aluminum halide-«hydro
cling withdrawn catalyst phase to the upper por_»
carbon complex liquid which comprises continu
tion of the tower at a pointsubstantially above
ously Y.passing hydrocarbons undergoing conver
that at which feed hydrocarbon is introduced,
sion through a Vertical reaction tower containing 75 separating
from said withdrawn hydrocarbon
2,404,649
9
10
phase a fraction consisting essentially of unre
feed hydrocarbon introduction, vaporizing from
acted paraffin hydrocarbons. vaporizing said frac
tion, returning the vaporized fraction to the tower
the withdrawn hydrocarbon phase unreacted nor
mal paraiiin hydrocarbons, leaving a residual hy
drocarbon phase, returning the vaporized hydro
at a point below the point of feed introduction in
such amount and at sufficient temperature to
cause substantial vaporization of hydrocarbons
within the tower and controlling the temperature
at the top of said tower to remove continuously
a stream consisting essentially of isomerized hy
drocarbons.
.
carbons to said tower at a point below the point
of feed hydrocarbon introduction in such amount
and at such a temperature as to cause substan
tial vaporization of hydrocarbons within the
tower, separating naphthene hydrocarbons from
said residual hydrocarbon phase, returning so
separated naphthene hydrocarbons to the upper
portion of said tower and controlling the tem
7. The method according to claim 5 in which
the isomerization reaction is effected in the pres
perature at the top of said tower to remove con
ence of a small amount of added naphthene hy
tinuously a stream consisting essentially of isom
drocarbon.
y
8. A process for isomerizing normal parañin 15 erized hydrocarbons.
9. The process according to claim 8 in which
hydrocarbons having from 4 to 7 carbon atoms
the recycled naphthene hydrocarbons are com
per molecule and normally free from naphthenic
mingled with recycled catalyst phase prior to re
hydrocarbons by contact with an isomerization
turnto the upper portion of the tower.
catalyst consisting essentially of aluminum chlo
l0. A process for isomerizing saturated hydro
ride-hydrocarbon complex which comprises ef 20
carbons which comprises passing hydrocarbons
fecting the reaction in a bubble tray tower, pass
undergoing conversion through a packed reaction
ing hydrocarbons undergoing conversion upward
tower countercurrently to a body of isomeriza
ly through said tower countercurrently to de
tion catalyst consisting essentially of aluminum
scending complex liquid in the presence of hy
drogen halide and under conditions such that 25 chloride-hydrocarbon complex and substantially
free from undissolved solid aluminum chloride,
isomerization constitutes the principal reaction,
subjecting hydrocarbons passing through said
said complex being substantially free from un
tower repeatedly to alternate Vaporization and
dissolved solid aluminum chloride and charac
condensation while in contact with the catalyst,
terized by having a heat of hydrolysis of about
300 to 320 calories per gram of complex eifecting 30 effecting said contact in ther presence of hydro
gen halide under conditions such that isomeriza
the reaction in the presence of a small amount
tion constitutes the principal conversion reaction,
of added naphthene hydrocarbon higher boiling
removing overhead from said tower a stream con
than the paraffin hydrocarbon undergoing treat
sisting essentially of isomerized hydrocarbons,
ment, introducing feed hydrocarbon to the lower
portion of said tower, accumulating in the bot 35 separately withdrawing complex catalyst from the
lower portion of said tower, recycling withdrawn
tom portion oi said tower a liquid catalyst phase
complex to the upper portion of said tower, in
troducing saturated feed hydrocarbons to the
reacted feed hydrocarbons, said naphthene hy
portion of the tower at a point intermediate the
drocarbon and higher boiling hydrocarbons, sepa
rately withdrawing said phases, recycling with 40 points of complex withdrawal from and return to
and a liquid hydrocarbon phase comprising un
drawn catalyst phase to the upper portion of said
tower at a point substantially above the point of
the tower.
MAX NEUHAUS.
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