With the increasing demand for petrochemicals set to continue over the next decades realizing maximum value requires integrating fully across the hydrocarbon value chain. The rapid growth in chemicals demand provides a real opportunity to pursue new refining processes to integrate petrochemicals into an expanding global refining and marketing system. Research within the Research & Development Center at Saudi Aramco has led to the development of a new refining process to upgrade a low-value aromatic reject stream, derived from an aromatics recovery complex, to BTX and petrochemical feedstock. The hydrodearylation process specifically creates value from the mono-aromatic loss realized at the clay treater within an aromatics complex, via the formation of heavy non-condensed di-aromatics, by selectively targeting the cracking of the bridging alkyl group of the non-condensed di-aromatics to form mono-aromatics. Typically, these heavy non-condensed di-aromatics are used as low-value fuel oil blending components. The hydrodearylation process converts this fuel oil blending component directly into BTX and petrochemical feedstock. Furthermore, an example will be given as to why the value creation of the hydrodearylation process becomes more significant after IMO regulations have been implemented. The process has been successfully demonstrated and ready for commercial deployment.

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