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Overview of HF Alkylation Units

Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) Alkylation Units, often referred to as HF Alky units, are process units used in petroleum refining to convert isobutane and alkenes (primarily propylene or butylene) into alkylate, which is used to make gasoline. 

Before being transferred to the alkylation unit, the alkenes are generated in a fluidized catalytic cracking unit (FCCU). Once in the alkylation unit, the alkenes react to the isobutane while in the presence of a catalyst, causing the two substances to combine, creating the alkylates. In HF Alkylation units, hydroflouric acid is used as the catalyst. 

The alkylation process itself generates a significant amount of heat. Because of this, regular cooling is required. HF Alkylation units are particularly vulnerable to hydrofluoric acid corrosion.

 

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