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The normal feedstock to an alkylation unit is olefinic, which typically comes from a cracking process. Normally, butene (or sometimes pentene or propene) is coupled with iso-butane in the presence of a catalyst. Hydrogen Fluoride (HF) or Sulphuric acid (H2SO4) are examples of the catalysts normally used.

The alkylation process requires a clean, dry feed stream. Therefore, some pre-conditioning may be required.

Alkylate product is high in octane, contains no sulphur, is saturated and is Lead-sensitive. Therefore, it is a highly valuable component for blending into gasoline.
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