Light naphtha

Also known as: light straight run naphtha, LSR, natural gasoline, light paraffinic naphtha, pentanes plus, C5+

Light naphtha can refer to either a finished product used as a petrochemical feedstock or a distillation cut commonly called light straight run naphtha. It is composed of pentane and slightly heavier material.

Light naphtha comes from distillation of crude oil or from separation of NGLs in an NGL fractionation plant. Light naphtha from NGL fractionation is often called natural gasoline or pentanes plus.

In a refinery, light naphtha is often blended directly into gasoline. However, its low octane and relatively high vapor pressure typically limit it to 5% or less of the gasoline pool. To boost its octane, it is often sent to the isomerization unit before gasoline blending.

As a petrochemical feed stock, light naphtha is used in steam crackers to make ethylene and ultimately make plastics. In this use, it competes with propane and ethane as a feedstock. Highly paraffinic naphtha is preferred in this use as it provides better yields than more naphthenic or aromatic naphthas.

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