Hydrocarbon solvents

Hydrocarbon solvent substances are commonly derived from petroleum feedstocks and contain one or more hydrocarbon classes (e.g. linear, branched or cyclic alkanes and aromatics).

The difference between the types of hydrocarbon solvents is mainly due to their different hydrocarbon classes and their carbon chain length distribution. The carbon chain length distribution depends on the targeted distillation range of the final product. The hydrocarbon solvent carbon chain lengths are typically narrow cuts of hydrocarbon lengths over C5 and below C20. Due to the variability in the composition of the starting materials, many hydrocarbon solvents fall under the definition of a UVCB substance.

The major process for transforming petroleum feedstocks into hydrocarbon solvent substances is a combination of various process steps that may include distillation of the feedstock, hydrodesulphurisation, mild or heavy hydrogenation, and finally a distillation and a stripping of light components.

Further support can be found through the Hydrocarbon Solvent Producers Association (HSPA), a sector group of the European Council of the Chemical industry (CEFIC).