Honeywell’s UOP has provided specialist technology for a new propylene and isobutylene coproduction plant in China.

The company said on Aug. 13 that Shandong Chambroad Holding Co., Ltd. has become the first in the country to commission a combined C3/C4 dehydrogenation unit in an effort to meet growing demand in Asia for plastics, high-octane gasoline and synthetic rubber.

The new unit is the first of three facilities in China that will produce both propylene and isobutylene in a single dehydrogenation unit. It uses UOP’s C3/C4 Oleflex process technology to produce propylene, a building block for making plastics, packaging and synthetic fiber, and isobutylene, a component used for high-octane gasoline and synthetic rubber.

Located in Binzhou City, Shandong Province, the unit will produce 116,000 metric tonnes per year of propylene and 104,000 metric tonnes per year of isobutylene.

Two other Chinese producers have also licensed the technology and those facilities are expected to be commissioned in 2017.

“As the demand for transportation fuels and petrochemicals continues to grow in China, petrochemical companies there see a real benefit from integrating processes,” commented Mike Millard, vice president and general manager of Honeywell UOP’s Process Technology and Equipment business.

“The start up of the first combined C3/C4 Oleflex unit in China is a milestone in the region’s petrochemical production, and it will help Chambroad manage market conditions more efficiently.”

UOP’s C3/C4 Oleflex technology uses catalytic dehydrogenation to convert propane to propylene and isobutane to isobutylene. The processes are combined using mixed dehydrogenation to produce both materials in a single unit.