PEP Review 88-2-2
UOP Styrene Process
Published: August 1889
A process for the production of styrene by the dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene utilizing the UOP Styro-Plus� process is evaluated and compared with a conventional adiabatic dehydrogenation process. In the UOP process some of the hydrogen resulting from the dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene is selectively oxidized. The oxidation is an exothermic reaction: thus, some of the heat required for the dehydrogenation reaction, an endothermic reaction, is supplied from the oxidation reaction. Steam usages are reduced considerably from typical adiabatic processes. Reducing the hydrogen concentration in the dehydrogenation reaction by oxidation shifts the reaction equilibrium, which results in higher conversions and selectivities.
Our evaluation of the UOP process shows that the Styro-Plus� process has a slight economic advantage over conventional adiabatic processes used in the production of styrene. The advantage is due primarily to the savings from the reduction in steam requirements. Capital costs are essentially the same.