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KFUPM & Honeywell sign research collaboration agreement
Dec '10
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) signed a research collaboration agreement with Honeywell's UOP aiming at developing a catalytic process for the alkylation of toluene with methanol to produce para-Xylene which is a basic aromatic compound used to manufacture polyester fibers, used in making textiles, packaging material and containers.

The agreement was signed by Dr. Sahel Abduljauwad, Vice Rector of Applied Research, representing the University, and Mr. Ben Christolini, Vice President and CTO, representing Honeywell UOP.

Dr. Abduljauwad has indicated that signing this agreement represents strong continuity in the cooperation between the University and UOP in the area of strengthening KFUPM's capabilities in catalyst and catalytic process development. He also added that this five year project will include exchange of knowledge and technical expertise between the University and UOP in the development of catalytic processes for aromatics production.

Mr. Christolini confirmed that the project will help supporting the Aromatics industry, in general, and the production of para-Xylene in particular, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He added that professors and researchers at KFUPM will be able to collaborate with scientists at UOP in catalyst development and applications, and in designing reactors for catalytic aromatic reactions.

Dr. Sulaiman Al Khattaf, principal investigator and Director of Center for Refining and Petrochemicals at KFUPM's, where most of the project work will be done, indicated that UOP's selection of KFUPM was based on the Center's success in conducting several basic research programs in the field of aromatic alkylation with support from King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology, Saudi Aramco and KAUST. The outcome of this research work was published in specialized scientific journals.

Honeywell's UOP is considered one of the leading companies in the development and licensing of process and catalyst technologies in Refining and Petrochemical industries, and has development and training activities in the Dhahran Techno Valley located in KFUPM campus.

King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM)

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