Linear Alkylbenzene Plants Technology

Ballestra offers plants based on the UOP licensed Technology specificallydeveloped for small capacity plants.

Feedstock characteristics

  • C10-C14 n-paraffins commercially available from producers.
  • Benzene commercially available from petrochemical producers.

Product characteristics

  • High 2-phenyl (approx. 30 wt%) LAB widely used as surfactant intermediate for LAS production.

By-products characteristics

  • Heavy Alkylate (HAB). Commercially valuable as a precursor of secondary surfactant production.
  • Hydrogen (H2). Commercially valuable as fuel.
  • Aromatics (from PEP Process). Commercially valuable as fuel.

Plant Technology

LAB plants based on UOP technology are based on four units.

PACOL unit. In the in unit n-paraffins are dehydrogenated with a catalyzed reaction to produce mono-olefins.

DEFINE unit. The unit converts through a catalyst reaction di-olefins produced in the PACOL unit into mono-olefins, thus improving the LAB production yield and the product quality.

PEP unit. The PEP process removes aromatics from PACOL effluent stream, thus increasing the DETAL catalyst life, improving the LAB product quality and reducing the Heavy Alkylate production.

DETAL unit. The DETAL process is a state of the art process for the manufacture of detergent-grade Alkylate. It uses a solid heterogeneous catalyst to produce Linear Alkylbenzene by the direct alkylation of benzene and mono-olefins. The solid catalyst replaces the traditional liquid acid (HF acid or aluminum chloride), with great advantages in terms of capital investment, potential environmental impact and LAB product quality.

UOP LAB Technology has several advantages compared to standard alkylation processes:


  • Pacol Unit does not require chlorine as raw material, resulting in an essentially non?corrosive system and allowing the use of conventional materials and reducing the maintenance cost.
  • Potentially hazardous raw materials or by?products are not used making the process also safer and simpler to operate.
  • Very selective in the production of mono?olefins, granting a LAB product with less undesirable alkylindanes and alkyltetralins and optimizing LAB product sulphonation performance.
  • High selectivity results in a higher yield of detergent alkylate product and reduced feedstock costs.


  • Exceptional LAB product quality with better solubility for liquid detergents and very low content of tetralins and indans.
  • Eliminates HF Handling
  • Lower capital cost.
  • Improved operations.
  • Lower maintenance costs.
  • Very low waste disposal from the Plant.