New Microsoft Word Document (3) - Claims: The invention...

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Claims: The invention claimed is: 1. In a catalytic distillation hydrodesulfurization process comprising: (a) feeding a naphtha boiling range hydrocarbon stream containing organic sulfur compounds and hydrogen to a distillation column reactor; (b) concurrently in said distillation column reactor (i) separating said naphtha into a light boiling range naphtha boiling in the range C5 to 330° F. and a heavy boiling range naphtha boiling in the range of about 330° F. and above; (ii) contacting a fraction of said naphtha and hydrogen with a hydrodesulfurization catalyst to selectively react the organic sulfur compounds therein with said hydrogen to form H2S; (c) recovering a portion of said light boiling range naphtha wherein said light boiling range naphtha contains recombinant mercaptans; (d) removing said heavier boiling range naphtha from said distillation column reactor; and (e) passing said portion of said light boiling range naphtha to a countercurrent flow reactor for contact with hydrogen in fixed bed hydrodesulfurization catalyst to reduce the recombinant mercaptans therein; wherein the improvement comprises fractionating said portion of light boiling range naphtha to remove a lighter fraction thereof, said lighter fraction having a boiling range between its Initial Point and End Point of up to about 120° F. and being substantially free of mercaptans, from said countercurrent flow reactor before contact of said lighter fraction with said fixed bed catalyst. 2. The process according to claim 1 wherein said portion of light boiling naphtha comprises overhead. 3. The process according to claim 1 wherein said portion of light boiling naphtha comprises reflux. 4. The process according to claim 1, wherein said hydrodesulfurization catalyst comprises a metal sulfide. 5. The process according to claim 1, wherein H2S is added to the hydrogen in at least one of said catalytic distillation column or in said fixed bed in an amount sufficient to maintain the hydrodesulfurization catalyst in an active state. 6. A process for the hydrodesulfurization of naphtha in a distillation column reactor having a stripping section and a rectification section, comprising the steps of: (a) feeding a naphtha boiling range hydrocarbon stream containing organic sulfur compounds and hydrogen to a distillation column reactor above said stripping section; (b) concurrently in said distillation column reactor (i) separating said
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naphtha into a light boiling range naphtha fraction boiling in the range of C5 to about 330° F. and a heavy boiling range naphtha fraction boiling above about 330° F.; (ii) contacting at least one of said naphtha fractions and hydrogen with a hydrodesulfurization catalyst in said stripping section to selectively react the heavier organic sulfur compounds with said hydrogen to form H2S; (c) removing said light boiling range naphtha fraction, H2S and unreacted hydrogen and recombinant mercaptans from said distillation column reactor as overheads; (d) removing said heavier boiling range naphtha from said distillation
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New Microsoft Word Document (3) - Claims: The invention...

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