Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB)
IndianOil LAB plant was commissioned at Vadodara in August 2004 as a venture into petrochemicals downstream segment. The plant uses Kerosene and Benzene produced by the refinery as the main feed stocks for manufacture of Linear Alkyl Benzene. With fuel oil also available in-house for energy, the LAB plant is fully integrated with the refinery. The plant is based on the latest UOP DETAL technology and is designed to produce Low Molecular Weight (LMW) and High Molecular Weight (HMW) LAB
IOCL LAB plant has undergone a revamp during 2022 to an increased capacity of 162 KTA now from earlier 120 KTA. With 162 KTA, IOC now stands as the single largest LAB supplier in India.
N-Paraffin of required C-chain length is extracted from Kerosene in Molecular Extraction Unit. It is de-hydrogenated into corresponding olefins in PACOL and DeFining unit. Thereafter alkylation of Benzene is done with these mono olefins to form Linear Alkyl Benzene. Some heavy Alkylate generated during the process is separated out by fractionation.
Linear Alkyl Benzene (LAB) with appropriate chain length is predominantly used as a raw material in the manufacture of Linear Alkyl Benzene Sulphonic Acid (LABSA) by reaction with Sulfuric Acid in liquid phase or by Sulfur Trioxide in gaseous phase. In downstream segment, LABSA is then neutralized with Caustic Soda to form its Sodium salt LAS-Na. This surfactant is used in the manufacture of synthetic detergents in liquid, cake or powder form. Very small amounts of LAB are also known to have uses in ink manufacture.
Advantages of DETAL Process
The Advantages of DETAL process over traditional Hydrogen Flouride (HF) or Aluminium Tri Chloride (AICI3) process.
- Low non-alkylbenzene components, in particular low contents of Tetralins, improved linearity are the parameters that contribute to the rate of higher biodegradation of the ultimate LAS product. Higher biodegradability contributes to ecology.
- Non generation of any acidic discharge and hence no effluent treatment is necessary in LAB manufacturing unit
- Because of lower Bromine Index it gives high quality and maximum yield of LABSA with low Klett value color which does not require further treatment.
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