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LYONDELL TO UTILIZE NEW ISOM TECHNOLOGY; WILL EXPAND MTBE

 HOUSTON, Nov. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Lyondell Petrochemical Company (NYSE: LYO) today announced plans to utilize the low-cost skeletal isomerization technology developed by the company to make isobutylene at its Channelview (Texas) Petrochemical Complex.
 The technology, marketed under the name ISOMPLUS(TM), will enable Lyondell to convert normal butylenes (Raffinate II) from its olefins plants to isobutylene in a single-step process. The isobutylene will be combined with methanol to produce MTBE, an oxygenated gasoline blending component increasingly in demand under the Clean Air Act.
 The project will include modifications to an existing process unit used in Lyondell's 1992 commercial demonstration of the ISOMPLUS technology, as well as the expansion of an existing MTBE unit at Channelview to produce an additional 2,000 to 3,000 barrels per day of MTBE. The ISOMPLUS unit is expected to be operational during the second quarter of 1994 and the total project is expected to be completed during the third quarter.
 The ISOMPLUS technology, developed internally by Lyondell, utilizes a highly selective catalytic process to isomerize normal olefins while minimizing the production of lower value by-products. This technology requires significantly less capital than other commercially available technology. Lyondell has successfully tested this technology in the laboratory, pilot plant and a commercial-scale demonstration.
 "This is a good investment for Lyondell," said Dan F. Smith, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Lyondell. "The process simplicity of this technology results in significantly lower capital costs than other commercially available technologies for MTBE.
 "Our ISOMPLUS process will enable us to profitably produce MTBE in today's market, which is relatively weak, and offers a substantial profit upside as the MTBE outlook improves," Smith said. "This also represents the most cost-effective avenue for upgrading the value of available normal butylenes at our Channelview complex."
 Lyondell is the nation's fourth largest producer of olefins and has a significant supply of normal butylenes. The company also is the nation's second largest producer of methanol. "Our integration in both methanol production and in downstream refining through LYONDELL-CITGO Refining Company offers us a strong competitive position for this additional MTBE," Smith added.
 Lyondell Licensing Inc. entered into a joint development and licensing relationship with CDTECH in January 1993 to commercialize the isomerization technology. Subsequent research significantly improved the catalyst used in the process. Research also is in progress to apply this same technology toward converting normal pentenes to isoamylene as a feedstock for TAME, another oxygenated gasoline blending component. Both processes utilize a sophisticated zeolitic catalyst developed jointly with Zeolyst International and marketed by Criterion Catalysts.
 Lyondell Licensing Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Lyondell Petrochemical Company, licenses worldwide technology developed by Lyondell. Lyondell Petrochemical Company, Houston, produces a wide variety of petrochemicals including olefins (primarily ethylene, propylene, butadiene, butylenes), methanol and MTBE, low-density polyethylene and polypropylene.
 -0- 11/22/93
 /CONTACT: David Harpole, media, 713-652-4125 or David Balderston, investors, 713-652-4590, both of Lyondell Petrochemical Company/
 (LYO)


CO: Lyondell Petrochemical Company ST: Texas IN: CHM SU:

WB -- NY031 -- 6747 11/22/93 10:29 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 22, 1993
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