Acetylene Hydrogenation Tutorial

Source: AIChE
  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    April 13, 2016
  • Duration:
    30 minutes
  • Skill Level:
  • PDHs:

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Acetylene Hydrogenation Tutorial

Author: Edgar Mohundro –                       

Acetylene hydrogenation is a very important step in most olefins plant operations along the process flow path of achieving on-specification ethylene and propylene production.  The tight limit on the allowable C2 acetylene contaminant content levels driven by polymer producers necessitates close scrutiny and evaluation of the operation and performance of acetylene converter systems. 

The focus of the Acetylene Hydrogenation Tutorial will be upon the know-how and experience base for operating acetylene hydrogenation units.  The intent of the Tutorial is to convey, from the Operator’s perspective, the essentials and insights that an Operator should know and understand when it comes to successful acetylene converter operation.  

The Tutorial will: 

  • Touch upon a brief overview of history and background of the technology.

  • Review the various process flow schemes that an Operator may encounter. 

  • Overview on chemistry that is involved with the hydrogenation process. 

  • Discuss the factors related to various steam-cracker hydrocarbon feedstocks and the various contaminants and poisons. 

  • Discuss the reactor operating conditions and control parameters. 

  • Discuss monitoring the system performance. 

  • Comment upon catalyst regeneration and activation considerations. 

  • Aspects of safety, the element of which an Operator must always be mindful.


  • Present key start-up and shutdown considerations for acetylene convertor systems.


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