sulfuric acid

Sulfuric acid alkylation (ALKEMAX™)  

Alkylate is a superior component that increases the octane of premium motor fuels. ExxonMobil’s proven Sulfuric Acid Alkylation (SAA) technology reacts light olefins with isobutane to form high value alkylate for gasoline blending. ALKEMAX™ SAA technology is based on ExxonMobil’s 60+ years of design and operational experience, and is used in some of the world’s largest refineries. The units are designed with the operator in mind, offering high reliability, flexibility and energy efficiency.

ExxonMobil and Axens have signed an alliance agreement for the sublicense of ExxonMobil’s Sulfuric Acid Alkylation technology. This alliance leverages collective expertise by providing a streamlined solution and proven technologies to optimize high-octane fuels production. 



Key benefits

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    • Auto-refrigeration design reduces cost of compression and cooling
    • Efficient mixing technology lowers power consumption
    • Reduced corrosion provides lower maintenance costs

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    • Large single reactor capacity of up to 12 KBD produces economies of scale
    • Possible to modify or expand for higher throughput
    • Option to add Alkyfining to reduce acid regeneration unit capital costs

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    • High on-stream factor
    • Flexibility to meet alkylate quality needs

A proven, reliable system  

  • Direct vaporization of isobutane results in energy savings.
  • Multiple mixing zones in the reactor increases reliability.
  • Over 60 years of ExxonMobil and licensee operating experience from 2 to 12 KBD reactor capacity.
  • Technology used in the world’s largest alkylation unit.
  • Flexibility in partnering with multiple sulfuric acid regeneration technologies.
  • 500 years of cumulative operating run time.
  • ~250,000 BPSD of cumulative operating capacity (5 units operated by ExxonMobil).


ALKEMAXTM SAA block diagram



Services offered:  

  • Support for licensees from initial consultation through technology transfer and availability of improvements
  • Initial, non-confidential based meeting to discuss key features and advantages of technologies available for license, followed by technology-specific confidentiality agreement, based on identified needs
  • Detailed technical proposal on identified needs and feedstocks
  • Technology transfer, process design package and consultation during project execution
  • Training, commissioning, start-up and operation support
  • Technology improvement exchange, available with access to improvements to the licensed technology



Featured resources

View highlighted news, events, technical papers and case studies below. To see our full collection of resources, browse our Library.
  • ExxonMobil Chemical play button icon

    Introduction to ExxonMobil Catalysts and Technology Licensing

    See an overview of ExxonMobil's refining, chemical manufacturing and gas processing technologies along with their assortment of specialty catalysts. These technologies and catalysts are used at ExxonMobil's own facilities and are offered for license to customers.

    Watch the video
  • ExxonMobil Chemical Library icon

    Axens and ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing LLC Sign Alliance Agreement to Provide Technologies for High-Octane Alkylate Production

    The technologies will be offered under a single license and engineering agreement to be provided by Axens.

    Read more
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