A process for the alkylation of alkane with olefin or olefin precursor
such as an oligomer of tertiary olefin comprising contacting a liquid
system comprising acid catalyst, isoparaffin and olefin in concurrent
downflow into contact in a reaction zone with a disperser mesh under
conditions of temperature and pressure to react said isoparaffin and said
olefin to produce an alkylate product is disclosed. Preferably, the
liquid system is maintained at about its boiling point in the reaction
zone. Unexpectedly, the olefin oligomers have been found to function as
olefin precursors and not as olefins in the reaction. Thus, for example,
a cold acid alkylation using an oligomer of isobutene (principally dimer
and trimer) with isobutane produces isooctane with the isobutane reacting
with the constituent isobutene units of the oligomers on a molar basis.
The product isooctane is essentially the same as that produced in the
conventional cold acid process.