Catalytic reforming is a chemical process used to convert petroleum refinery naphthas, typically having low octane ratings, into high-octane liquid products called reformates which are components of high-octane gasoline (also known as high-octane petrol). Basically, the process re-arranges or re-structures the hydrocarbon molecules in the naphtha feedstocks as well as breaking some of the molecules into smaller molecules. The overall effect is that the product reformate contains hydrocarbons with more complex molecular shapes having higher octane values than the hydrocarbons in the naphtha feedstock. In so doing, the process separates hydrogen atoms from the hydrocarbon molecules and produces very significant amounts of byproduct hydrogen gas for use in a number of the other processes involved in a modern petroleum refinery. Other byproducts are small amounts of methane, ethane, propane, and butanes.
This process is quite different from and not to be confused with the catalytic steam reforming process used industrially to produce various products such as hydrogen, ammonia, and methanol from natural gas, naphtha or other petroleum-derived feedstocks. Nor is this process to be confused with various other catalytic reforming processes that use methanol or biomass-derived feedstocks to produce hydrogen for fuel cells or other uses.
... In catalytic reforming, a mixture of hydrocarbons with boiling points between 60–200 °C is blended with hydrogen gas and then exposed to a bifunctional platinum chloride or rhenium chloride ... In similar fashion to this catalytic reforming, UOP and BP commercialized a method from LPG (mainly propane and butane) to aromatics ...
... Most catalytic reforming catalysts contain platinum or rhenium on a silica or silica-alumina support base, and some contain both platinum and rhenium ... The noble metals (platinum and rhenium) are considered to be catalytic sites for the dehydrogenation reactions and the chlorinated alumina provides the acid sites needed for isomerization ... effectiveness) of the catalyst in a semi-regenerative catalytic reformer is reduced over time during operation by carbonaceous coke deposition and chloride ...
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“The science of constructing a commonwealth, or renovating it, or reforming it, is, like every other experimental science, not to be taught a priori. Nor is it a short experience that can instruct us in that practical science, because the real effects of moral causes are not always immediate.”
—Edmund Burke (17291797)