UOP to provide petrochemicals production technology in South Korea

Kumho P&B Chemicals of South Korea has selected Honeywell UOP's Q-Max and UOP Phenol process technologies to produce key petrochemicals for the manufacture of plastics.

The technologies will be integrated at Kumho's Yeosu facility to produce high-quality phenol, with the Q-Max process technology producing cumene through the alkylation of benzene with propylene, and the phenol process allowing the conversion of cumene to high-quality phenol, with low feedstock and utility requirements.

According to the company, the Q-Max process uses a catalyst system, which maximises on-stream time, and minimises raw material and energy consumption. The new units, expected to start up in 2013-14, will produce 900,000Mt of cumene and 300,000Mt of phenol annually, the company said.

UOP will provide catalysts, adsorbents engineering design, technology licensing and technical service for the project. UOP process technology and equipment senior vice president Pete Piotrowski said the company will continue to offer the advanced technology needed to maximise production quality and capacity.

"We're pleased to continue to grow UOP's long-standing relationship with Kumho and to have the opportunity to work with them on our largest cumene production unit to date," Piotrowski added.

The total licensed UOP Q-Max production capacity exceeds 5.8Mtpa to date, while the total licensed phenol production capacity exceeds 3.4Mtpa.

The low temperature / pressure and low intermediate inventory design of the UOP Phenol process is inherently safer, more economical to build, easier to operate and provides higher product yields than competitive technologies.

Kumho P&B Chemicals, a subsidiary of Korea's Kumho Petrochemical Company, is a specialist producer of phenol and its derivatives.