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September 6, 2019

Volume 7 Issue 3

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White Oil Plant Planned in China

Weifang Hongrun Petrochemical Technology Co. awarded a contract to Chevron Lummus Global for license and design of a 500,000 metric tons per year white oil hydroprocessing unit and a 200,000 t/y food-grade white oil unit in Shandong, China, CLG recently announced.

The Aug. 20 announcement didn’t disclose when construction on the project would start.

CLG will design the units using its proprietary Isodewaxing wax isomerization technology and its hydrofinishing technology, which uses noble-metal catalysts to produce base oils at lower temperatures than conventional methods. The scope of CLG’s work on the project will include supplying catalysts and proprietary internals.

When complete, the grassroots project will be the largest food-grade white oil unit in the world, CLG Managing Director Ujjal Mukherjee claimed in a news release.

In China, six categories of white oils are recognized, and each has individual standards: light white oil, white oil feedstock, industrial white oil, cosmetic white oil, food-grade white oil and pharmaceutical white oil.

Many sectors requiring specialty grades of white oils must be served by imports, industry insiders have said. China drafted new standards for white oils in 2018. The new standard, drafted by Sinopec’s Fushun Research Institute of Petroleum and Petrochemicals, updates the current version, which was launched in 2002. The new standard aims to better regulate the industrial white oil sector and improve the quality of Chinese-made white oils.

White oils are used in a range of cosmetics and plastics – which together make up half of the global market – as well in various applications in the textiles, adhesives and pharmaceuticals industries. The food industry uses white oils as release agents and to formulate food-grade lubes. Other applications include agricultural sprays, fertilizers and defoamers.

All grades of base oils can be used to produce white oils, so choice of grade largely depends on regional availability. API Group II makes up the vast majority of white oil production, and Group I is the next-most-significant grade. Naphthenics come third and Group III products are used the least.

Chevron Lummus Global LLC, a joint venture between Chevron U.S.A. Inc. and McDermott, is a leading process technology licensor for refining hydroprocessing technologies and alternative fuels, as well as a global leader in catalyst system supply.