PEP Review 88-2-4
Acrylonitrile from Propane by New BP/SOHIO Patented Process
Published: August 1989
High propylene prices are prompting chemical users to consider less expensive feedstocks. BP/SOHIO, which produces acrylonitrile (ACN) in the United States and the United Kingdom by propylene ammoxidation, has recently received 13 U.S. patents involving direct propane conversion to ACN.
SRI has prepared a commercial-scale ACN plant design using the new BP patent data and has compared it to producing ACN via conventional propylene ammoxidation (SOHIO). We also assessed using commercial propane dehydrogenation technology (Houdry Catofin) to obtain propylene.
Investment, production cost, and product values have been calculated for both of the processes for a 400 million lb/yr (180,000 t/yr) grass roots plant. Total fixed capital is ~15% higher for the direct propane conversion process, but the production cost is much lower.