Definition - What does Reforming Process mean?
Reforming Process, also known as catalytic reforming is a chemical process that breaks down the molecules of low octane rating naphtha into high octane gasoline blending components. It is one of the most important processes in oil refineries during the conversion crude oil into various petroleum products. These high octane gasoline blending components are called reformates, which become feedstock for petrochemical plants.
Petropedia explains Reforming Process
The primary purpose a catalytic reforming process is to convert naphtha into high octane rating gasoline blends (or higher calorific value naphtha) whjch can be used as feedstock fuel in petrochemical plants. This high octane gasoline blending components are called reformates and generally have higher calorific value or high enthalpy that makes it a perfect fuel for petrochemical plants.
The reforming process takes place in temperature conditions of 500 to 530 degree Celsius and 2- to 25 kg/cm2 pressure rating under an influence of a catalyst. In the reforming process, multiple chemical processes take place, they include-:
- Isomerization and dehydrocyclization of alkanes;
- Dehydrogenization of cyclohexanes to aromatic hydrocarbons;
- Isomerization and dehydrogenation of alkylcyclopentanes.
Once the reforming process is complete, reformates are produced which consist of various kinds of aromatics such as toluene, benzene & xylene that improve the calorific value of naphtha. The hydrogen which is produced during the reforming process is collected and recycled back to be used in other refinery processes such as hydrodesulphurization process.