Uhde has gained yet another important reference in the field of refining technologies in successfully commissioning an aromatics plant for ARAL Aromatics GmbH in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The plant is based on the improved Uhde Morphylane® process, by means of which high-purity toluene is produced from fully hydrogenated coke oven benzole. The chemical industry further processes this toluene into, for example, polyurethane.
Uhde awarded the licence for the plant, provided engineering services and was on hand in a consulting capacity during commissioning. The plant has a capacity of 30,000 tonnes of toluene a year.
The improved Uhde Morphylane® process is an extractive distillation process based on the single-column principle which combines three columns in one column shell. As the condensers are integrated into this column shell, the plant itself is very compact, thus reducing not only the space required but also the number of equipment items needed. A key feature of the process is also its low specific energy requirement. With N-formylmorpholine as a solvent, this plant achieves purities of over 99.9 wt% toluene.
Since 1968 ARAL Aromatics has operated a major plant for the production of aromatics in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, and produces in total over 250,000 tonnes a year of ultrahigh-purity aromatics based on Uhde's Morphylane® process. 55 Uhde Morphylane® plants have since been designed and built worldwide.
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