New Microsoft Word Document (5) - Claims What is claimed is...

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Claims: What is claimed is: 1. The process for producing aromatic compounds from naphtha which comprises the steps of a. desulfurizing the naphtha; b. catalytically reforming the product stream of step (a) under conditions adapted to produce a substantial amount of aromatic compounds including a reforming temperature of from about 900° to 1100 ° F. and a pressure of from about 125 to 375 psig; c. thermally hydrocracking the product stream of step (b) at a temperature of from about 1200° to 1380° F. and a pressure of from about 125 to 375 psig; d. separating gaseous hydrogen and lighter hydrocarbons from the product stream of step (c); e. recycling the hydrogen from step (d) to the feed streams of said desulfurizing, reforming and hydrocracking steps; f. fractionating the liquid product stream of step (c) to withdraw as products of said process a paraffin stream, a benzene-rich stream, a toluene-rich stream, and a xylene-rich stream. 2. The process of claim 1 wherein the naphtha has a boiling point range of about 212° to 374° F. 3. The process of claim 2 wherein the reforming step (b) is carried out at a catalyst temperature of about 995° to 1025° F, a liquid hourly space velocity of about .8 to 1.1 and a molar ratio of hydrogen to hydrocarbon feed of about 5 to 7.
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4. The process of claim 2 wherein the thermal hydrocracking step (c) is carried out at conditions which consume less hydrogen than that produced in the reforming step. 5. The process of claim 1 wherein the thermal hydrocracking step (c) is carried out by passing the product stream of step (b) into the bottom of a first reactor and then into the top of a second reactor and maintaining adequate mixing by pumping hydrogen into the top of the first reactor, passing hydrogen and the product stream of the first reactor out of the top of said first reactor into the second reactor thereby providing a higher ratio of hydrogen to hydrocarbons in the second reactor to promote the formation of aromatics in the first reactor and dealkylation in the second reactor. 6. The process for producing xylene and a fuel gas from naphtha which comprises the steps of a. desulfurizing the naphtha; b. catalytically reforming the product stream of step (a) under conditions adapted to produce a substantial amount of aromatic compounds and which produces by-product hydrogen; c. thermally hydrocracking the product stream of step (b) under conditions which use less than all of the byproduct hydrogen from the reforming step; d. separating gaseous hydrogen and lighter hydrocarbons from the product stream of step (c); e. recycling the gaseous hydrogen from step (d) for use in said desulfurizing, reforming and hydrocracking steps; f. fractionating the liquid product stream of step (c) to withdraw a paraffin stream and a xylene -- rich stream as products of said process and to remove a toluene -- rich stream, and a C9+ rich stream; and g. transalkylating the toluene-rich and C9+ rich streams of step (f) and recycling the transalkylation reaction products to the fractionation step (f).
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