You are on page 1of 90

TECHNOLOGY FOR THE

PRODUCTION OF OLEFINS
23.2.2010

TECHNOLOGY FOR THE


PRODUCTION OF OLEFINS
Plastics production and consumption
Family portrait of olefin technologies
Feed stocks
Crude Oil
Coal
Natural gas
Biomass
Waste recycling
CO2
Cracking operations
Steam cracking
Coking
Hydrocracking
Fluidized catalytic cracking
Ethylene producing methods
Propylene producing methods
Recent technology advances

TECHNOLOGY FOR THE


PRODUCTION OF OLEFINS

Metathesis
OCT
SHOP
Gas to liquid (GTL)
Syn-gas
Fischer-Tropsch
Methane to Olefins
Methanol routes
Methanol to propylene
Oxidative coupling of Methane
Dehydrogenation
Oxidative
Dehydrogenation
Catalytic Pyrolysis
Summaries of Gas to Olefins routes
Biomass
Waste recycling
CO2
Considerations regarding technologies: green ethylene, process energy consumption, process
CO2 production.
3

Plastics production and


consumption [1]

PE and PP consumption [2]

Global polyolefin market

Family portrait of olefin


technologies: current and future

Abbreviations in the family portrait


of olefin technologies
BATH:
CC:
DCC:
DH:
FM:
FP:
FT:
GAS:
GS:
HG:
HP:
HTUL:
OC:
OD:
OM:
OU:
PD:
RCY:
REC:
REF:

SC:
SEP:
SR:
HVC:

HVCs.
OCT:
LPG:
NAPHTHA:

FEM:

Bio-acid acetone to hydrocarbons (e.g. olefins).


Catalytic Cracking or Catalytic Pyrolysis.
Deep Catalytic Cracking, etc.
De-hydration process (e.g. methanol to olefins, methanol to propylene and ethanol dehydration).
Fermentation
Flash pyrolysis, sometimes in the presence of methane.
Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (using syngas CO and H2 mixture to synthesize methanol or other products).
Gasification and liquefaction.
Gas stream reactor technologies, e.g. shockwave reactors.
Hydrogenation
Hydro-Pyrolysis
Hydro-Thermal Upgrading Liquefaction which produces naphtha from biomass feedstock.
Oxidative coupling of methane via ethane.
Oxidative Dehydrogenation of ethane.
Olefin Metathesis, e.g. ABB-Lummus Olefin Conversion Technology, IFP-CPC meta-4.
Olefins Upgrading (conversion of C4- C10) to light olefins, e.g. Superflex, Propylur and Olefins Cracking.
Propane dehydrogenation.
Re-cycling pyrolysis using organic waste, such as discarded plastics, used rubber, etc.
Recovery of refinery off gases, which contains ethylene, propylene, propane, etc.
Refinery processes. Distillation of crude oil produces naphtha and heavy oil. Catalytic cracking produces off gases.
Cryogenic separation and absorption produces ethane and LPG.
Steam cracking (conventional).
Gas separation process which produces methane, ethane and propane.
Steam Reforming of natural gas to produce methanol.
Include light olefins and non-olefin chemicals. Light olefins are ethylene, propylene, butadiene and butylene. Non-olefin
chemicals are mostly aromatics (and a small amount of C5+ hydrocarbons) in the case of steam cracking routes and
mostly gasoline (and a small amount of butanes and C5+) in the case of C1 routes. Backflows from naphtha steam
cracking to the refinery (810% yield on a mass basis) are of very low economic value and are therefore not counted as
Olefins conversion technology.
Liquefied petroleum gas.
Liquid mixtures of hydrocarbons, i.e. a distillation product from petroleum or coal tar, a broad term
encompassing any volatile, flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture. Naphtha is used primarily as feedstock.
Fermentation

Feedstocks to make olefins


Crude oil
Natural gas
Coal
BiomassOrganic waste
-Recycled plastics
CO2

Crude oil feedstock

Composition by weight
Hydrocarbon
Average Range
Paraffins
30%
15 to 60%
Naphthenes
49%
30 to 60%
Aromatics
15%
3 to 30%
Asphaltics
6%
remainder
Crude oil is very diverse in composition
depending on the source
10

Total world oil reserves


Inthelast10yearshaspolyolefinindustryhadagreat
interestinimprovingtherefinerycrackingprocessin
ordertoneutralizethefallingprofitinproducing
polyolefins.(OAn)
Naphthenes=
Cycloalkanes,especiallyif
frompetroleumsources.

Paraffins=
Thecommonnameforthe
alkanehydrocarbons.

11

Crude oil feed stock view

[3]
12

Crude oil feed stock view


DCC:
REC:

PD:
SC:
CC:
HP:
GS:

OD:
OU:
OM:
LPG:

Deep Catalytic Cracking, etc.


Recovery of refinery off gases, which contains
ethylene, propylene, propane, etc.
Propane *dehydrogenation.
* Steam cracking (conventional)
* Catalytic Cracking or *Catalytic Pyrolysis.
Hydro-Pyrolysis.
Gas stream reactor technologies, e.g. shockwave
reactors.
* Oxidative Dehydrogenation of ethane.
Olefins Upgrading (conversion of C4- C10) to light
olefins.
* Olefin Metathesis.
Liquefied petroleum gas.
13

The Oil Refinery basic process is


distillation
Distillation of
Crude oil produces
Naphtha and Heavy oil.
Cryogenic separation
and absorption
produces Ethane
and LPG.
14

Coal feed stock


Peat: Considered to be a precursor of
coalHas industrial importance as a fuel in
for example, Ireland and Finland.
Lignite: Brown coal, is the lowest rank of
coal and used almost exclusively as fuel
for electric power generation.
Sub-bituminous coal: Properties range
from those of lignite to those of
bituminous coal.Used primarily as fuel for
steam-electric power generation. An
important source of light aromatic
hydrocarbons for the chemical
synthesis industry.[4]
15

Coal feed stock


Bituminous coal: Dense mineral.
Primarily as fuel in steam-electric power
generation, with substantial quantities
also used for heat and power
applications in manufacturing and to
make coke.
Anthracite: Highest rank; a harder,
glossy, black coal used primarily for
residential and commercial space
heating.
Graphite: Technically the highest rank,
but difficult to ignite and is not so
commonly used as fuel: it is mostly used
in pencils and, when powdered, as a
lubricant.
16

Coal & Its uses - Coal classification

17

Coal feed stock view

GAS:
FP:
FT:

Gasification and liquefaction.


Flash pyrolysis, sometimes in the presence of methane.
Fischer-Tropsch synthesis to synthesize methanol or other products.

18

Natural gas
Natural gas is a gas consisting primarily of methane. It is found
associated with fossil fuels, in coal beds, as Methane Clathrates,
and is created by methanogenic organisms in marshes, bogs, and
landfills.
The by-products of natural gas processing include ethane, propane,
butanes, pentanes and higher molecular weight hydrocarbons,
elemental sulfur, and sometimes helium and nitrogen.
Acid gas = CO2 , SH2
NGL = Natural Gas Liquids
Tail gas = CO2 + leftover S-compounds from Claus process.
Dehydration = Remove water vapor using either the regenerable
absorption in liquid triethylene glycol (TEG), or a Pressure Swing
Adsorption (PSA) unit which is regenerable adsorption using a solid
adsorbent. [5]

19

Natural gas

20

Natural gas feed stock view

SEP:
SR:
OC:
OD:

Gas separation process which produces methane, ethane and propane;


Steam Reforming of natural gas to produce methanol.
Oxidative coupling of methane via ethane
Oxidative Dehydrogenation of ethane

21

Methane hydrates/clathrates
ice-like combinations of
methane and water on
the sea floor, found in
vast quantities)
are a potential future
source of methane

MethaneHydratePhases

22

Coal Bed Methane extraction

23

Biomass feed stock view

GAS:
FP:
FEM:
HG:
FT:

Gasification and liquefaction


Flash pyrolysis, sometimes in the presence of methane
Fermentation
Hydrogenation
Fischer-Tropsch synthesis to synthesize methanol or other products

24

Organic waste feed stock view

Recycling of plastic materials via retro polymerization.


Recycling of plastic materials via flash pyrolysis.
RCY: Re-cycling pyrolysis using organic waste, such as discarded plastics, used rubber, etc.

25

CO2 Feed stock view

HG:
DH:
OU:

Hydrogenation
De-hydration process (e.g. methanol to olefins, methanol to propylene and ethanol dehydration)
Olefins Upgrading (conversion of C4- C10) to light olefins, e.g. Superflex, Propylur and Olefins Cracking.

26

Steam cracking
Steam cracking and its products have a
backbone status for many industrial sectors.
The worldwide demand and production of olefins
are higher than for any other chemicals.
In general, steam cracking plays a dominant role
in olefin production.[6]
27

What is steam cracking?


Steam cracking, is a pyrolysis process
A light hydrocarbon mixture is heated in metallic tubes inside a
furnace in the presence of steam to a temperature at which it
thermally decomposes.
For ethane the primary reaction is dehydrogenation
C2H6 -> H2C=CH2 + H2
Other free radical reactions also occur
- Continued dehydrogenation to form acetylene
C2H4 -> HC-CH + H2
- Association and disassociation reactions that form propylene,
butadiene, benzene, and methane.
These reactions require a residence time of about a 0.1 to 1 s and
are endothermic.
Hydrogen and methane byproducts are separated and burned in the
furnace to drive the chemistry.
28

Typical flow diagram for a naphtha


steam cracker

29

Typical flow diagram for a naphtha


steam cracker

Pyrolysis section (A):

This is the heart of a steam cracker.

Naphtha first enters the convection section of a pyrolysis furnace, and it is preheated to 650oC.

Naphtha is vaporized with superheated steam and is passed into long (1225 m), narrow (25 125 mm) tubes,
which are made of chromium nickel alloys.

Pyrolysis takes place mainly in the radiant section of the furnace. The tubes are externally heated to 750900oC
(up to 1100oC) by fuel oil or gas fired burners.

Naphtha is cracked into smaller molecules via a free-radical mechanism in the absence of catalysts.

The free radicals lead to the formation of light olefins in the gaseous state.

The hot gas mixture is subsequently quenched in the Transfer Line Exchangers (TLE) to 550650oC, or
sometimes lower to 400oC.

TLE will then be followed by a series of heat exchangers and temperatures can drop down to 300oC.

These heat transfer activities avoid degradation by secondary reactions and at the same time generate high
pressure steam for driving compressors, etc.

However, heat exchangers are prone to fouling and therefore need both scheduled and unscheduled shutdowns.

30

Typical flow diagram for a naphtha


steam cracker

Primary fractionation/compression (B):

Primary fractionation applies to naphtha and gas oil feed only.

In the primary fractionation section, gasoline and fuel oil streams (rich in aromatics) are
condensed and fractionated.

While this liquid fraction is extracted, the gaseous fraction is desuperheated in the quench tower
by a circulating oil or water stream.

The gaseous fraction is then passed through four or five stages of gas compression with
temperatures at approximately 15100 C, then cooling and finally cleanup to remove acid gases,
carbon dioxide and water.

Most of the dilution steam is condensed, recovered and recycled. Products of this section are fuel
oil and BTX.
BTX = benzene, toluene and xylene.

A common problem with compression is fouling in the cracked gas compressors and after-coolers.
The build-up of polymers on the rotor and other internals results in energy losses as well as
mechanical problems. Wash oil and water are used to reduce fouling.

31

Typical flow diagram for a naphtha


steam cracker

Product recovery/fractionation (C):

This is essentially a separation process through distillation, refrigeration and extraction.

Equipment includes chilling trains and fractionation towers, which include

refrigeration
de-methanizer Distillation at low temperatures.
de-ethanizer Distillation at low temperatures.
and others

C2 compounds, or ethylene and ethane, separation often requires large distillation columns with 120180 trays and
high reflux ratios.

Steam cracking performance has improved considerably over time. Now steam crackers typically obtain:

~85% ethylene selectivity

60% ethane conversion


Unreacted alkane is recycled after cryogenic separation, an expensive process.

Undesired acetylene is removed through catalytic hydrogenation or extractive distillation.

32

Decoking

Decoking

Regular decoking is required in various parts of the pyrolysis section.

Before decoking, the furnace has to be shut down.

High pressure steam and air are fed to the furnace while it is heated up to 880900 C, or even up to 1100 C.

Coke on the inner surfaces of the wall and tubes is either burned off, washed away with high pressure water or
removed mechanically.

Decoking process can take 2040 h for a naphtha steam cracker.

Depending on the feedstocks, coil configuration and severity, decoking for steam cracking furnaces is required
every 14100 days on an average.

Typically, a naphtha pyrolysis furnace is decoked every 1540 days.

Maximum cycle time is around 60100 days.

Decoking is also required for quench towers and other sections.

33

Fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC)

Catalytic and other alternative olefin technologies can process conventional or heavy
feedstocks and are therefore alternatives to conventional steam cracking.{2}

Catalytic olefin technologies basically can be divided into two categories:

i)

Is associated with zeolite catalysts, FCC-like riser/bed reactors and heavy


feedstocks.

ii)

Acidic catalytic cracking

Thermal catalytic pyrolysis

Is associated with various kinds of metal oxide catalysts and naphtha.

34

Simplified energy profile of


conventional steam cracking and
catalytic olefin technologies

35

Simplified energy profile of


conventional steam cracking and
catalytic olefin technologies

First - lower activation energy

Catalysts provide an alternative route to steam cracking with the use of lower activation energy for CC bonds rupture.

Most of the catalysts cannot withstand extremely high temperatures and pressures as in steam cracking.

Temperatures for the catalytic naphtha cracking processes are 150250 C lower than those for steam crackers.

Second - improved selectivity to desired products

Catalysts improve selectivity to desired products, such as propylene.

Even if the same operating conditions as those of steam cracking are applied for catalytic cracking, the total olefin yield by LGs
catalytic pyrolysis technology is still enhanced by at least 15%.{2}

It produces more gasoline with a higher octane rating than steam cracking.

It produces byproduct gases that are more olefinic than those produced by steam cracking.

Third - decoking through catalyst regeneration

Coke formed during the cracking process is constantly removed by the catalysts.

The catalysts are decoked through exothermic catalyst regeneration with oxygen or catalyst decoking.

36

FCC Schema

Adiabatic process = A process in which no heat is transferred to or from the


working fluid.
Endothermic = A process or reaction that absorbs energy in the form of heat.
Catalyst regeneration and decoking is an exothermic reaction with oxygen.
37

Production of some common


olefins
Ethylene:

Ethylene is the worlds largest organic chemical.

Worldwide production of approximately 100 million t/y in about 275 plants.

Ethylene manufacture is dominated by steam cracking.

Plant size has increased two orders of magnitude from 10,000 t/y (1945) to >1 000 000 t/y (2000).
Propene

Propene is obtained mainly from:


- Naphtha steam crackers (globally about 65%) as a co-product with ethene,
- Fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) units at refineries as a co-product from gasoline-making.

Relatively small amounts are produced by:


- Propane dehydrogenation
- Coal gasification
- FischerTropsch chemistry

Strong global demand for propene, presently outpaces supply from these conventional sources.

Propene is used for about 60% for making polypropene. The rest for producing acrylonitrile, oxo
alcohol and acrylic acid.

38

The Propylene Gap

39

Recent technology advances


olefin producing technology

A few engineering firms have become the repositories of process technology for petrochemical
commodities.

Competitive forces drive these firms to continuously make incremental improvements in their
respective technologies, but not to replace them.

Steam cracking of hydrocarbons to produce ethylene is an example of a mature petrochemical


process.

The metal upper temperature limit in the cracking furnace coils is a current limitation of the
technology that is difficult to overcome.

The ethylene furnace has undergone modifications to improve product value, energy recovery,
and capital cost but there has been no fundamental change in the way the ethylene is produced.

Any new process must demonstrate significantly better economics than the existing process.

Additionally, the process reliability, safety, and environmental performance of the new process
must be at least comparable to or superior to the existing process.

40

The Metathesis? The substrate?

OM:
SC:
CC:
PD, DH, OD:

Olefin Metathesis.
Steam cracking.
Catalytic Cracking or Catalytic Pyrolysis.
Propane dehydrogenation, Dehydrogenation, Oxidative dehydrogenation.
41

Olefin metathesis
Derived from the Greek words meta (change)
and thesis (position), metathesis is the exchange
of parts of two substances.
In the reaction, AB + CD -> AC + BD
AB

+AB>BB+AA

42

Metathesis mechanism models


R1

R1

R1

R1

R2

R2

R2

R2
Calderon

R2

R2

R2

R2

R1

R1

R1

R1

R
R

Grubbs

43

Metathesis mechanism models


+
R1

R1

[M]

R1

(a)

R1

R1

[M]
R1
R1

M
R1

(b)

R1

R1

[M]
R1

R1

Modified mechanism by Yves Chauvin (1971)


44

Catalysts development

45

Catalysts development

46

OCT - OLEFINS CONVERSION


TECHNOLOGY - METATHESIS
An alternative route to propene is by applying the metathesis
reaction for the conversion of
a mixture of ethene and 2-butene into propene.
The Phillips triolefin process, which utilizes a heterogeneous catalyst
system, was originally developed by Phillips Petroleum Co., USA,
and operated from 1966 to 1972 for the conversion of propene into
ethene and butene, due to less propene demand at that time.
The Phillips process in the reverse direction, is now offered by ABB
Lummus Global, Houston (USA),
for license as olefins conversion technology (OCT) for the
production of propene.
CH3CH2=CH2CH3 + CH2=CH2 -> 2 CH3CH2=CH2
+

47

The OCT process


1-Butene in the feedstock is isomerized to
2-butene as the original 2-butene is
consumed in the metathesis reaction.
The conversion of butene is above 60%
per passThe selectivity for propene is >90%.

Fresh C4s plus C4 recycle are


mixed with ethene feed plus
recycle ethane.

The metathesis reaction takes


place in a fixed-bed reactor at >260
oC and 30-35 bar over a mixture of

- WO3/SiO2 (metathesis catalyst)


- MgO (isomerization catalyst)

The reactor is regenerated on a


regular basis.

MgO
catalyst

48

Production of 1-hexene
A semi-works unit using the OCT (olefins
conversion technology) process is used at
Sinopecs olefin plant in Tianjin (China), for the
metathesis of butene to produce 3-hexene,
which is then isomerized into 1-hexene
(comonomer used in the production of
polyethene).
+

Isomerization

49

The Shell Higher Olefins Process


(SHOP)
SHOP gives a mixture of linear even-numbered alphaolefins ranging from C4 to C40.
Product and catalyst phases are readily separated.
The olefins formed are immiscible with the solvent; so
that the Ni catalyst can be recycled repeatedly.
The C6C18 1-alkenes are separated from the product
mixture by distillation and are used in other processes.
The remaining lighter (<C6) and heavier (>C18) alkenes
go to purification beds.

50

The Shell Higher Olefins Process


(SHOP)
A large-scale industrial process incorporating olefin
metathesis is the Shell higher olefins process (SHOP) for
producing linear higher olefins from ethene. The process
takes place in three stages:
First step (oligomerization):
Ethene is oligomerized in the presence of a homogeneous
NickelPhosphine catalyst at 90100 oC and 100110 bar in a
polar solvent (1,4-butanediol)

Second step (olefin isomerization):


These lighter (<C6) and heavier (>C18) alkenes undergo doublebond isomerization over a solid potassium metal catalyst to give
an equilibrium mixture of internal alkenes.

51

The Shell Higher Olefins Process


(SHOP)
Third step (metathesis):
This mixture is passed over an alumina supported molybdate
metathesis catalyst, resulting in a statistical distribution of linear internal
alkenes with both odd and even numbers of carbon atoms via crossmetathesis reactions.
Yields about 1015 wt.% of the desired C11C14 linear internal alkenes
per pass, which are subsequently separated by normal distillation.
The isomerization and metathesis catalysts operate at 100125 oC and
10 bar.
The remaining lower (<C11) and higher (>C14) alkenes are recycled.
The product consists of >96% of linear internal C11C14 alkenes.

Shell Chemicals total worldwide SHOP production capacity is


1,190,000 t of linear alpha and internal olefins per year; these are
sold under the trade name Neodene. [7]

52

GAS TO LIQUIDS (GTL)

Gas to liquids is a refinery process to convert natural gas or other gaseous


hydrocarbons into longer-chain hydrocarbons such as gasoline or diesel fuel.

Methane-rich gases are converted into liquid fuels either via direct conversion or via
syngas as an intermediate, for example using the Fischer-Tropsch.[8]

53

GTL Gas To Liquid


Air

Naturalgas
Airseparation

Gasseparation

O2

Methane
Syngasproduction

(LPG)Liquid
Petroleum
Gas

COH2
FischerTropschprocess
MixedLiquidHydrocarbons
Separationprocesses
Cracker
Naphtha+Wax

Light
olefins
Ethylene

Dehydrogenation
OfEthane,
Propane

Propylene

54

Natural gas to syngas

We can choose from the following well established technologies:

i)

Steam reforming.

ii)

Partial oxidation (POX).

iii)

Autothermal reforming.

iv)

Combined or two-step reforming.

The choice of reformer technology will have an influence:


- On the thermal efficiency of the plant as a whole.
- On the capital costs of the reformer, oxygen plant (where applicable) and the
FischerTropsch section.

One of the biggest challenges is to optimize the energy integration between the
syngas generation and syngas conversion sections.

55

Natural gas to syngas


i.

Steam reforming

An obvious advantage of steam reforming is that its does not need an oxygen plant.

At high temperatures (700 1100 oC) and in the presence of a metal-based catalyst (nickel), steam reacts with
methane to yield carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

These two reactions are reversible in nature.

CH4 + H2O -> CO + 3 H2

Additional hydrogen can be recovered by a lower-temperature gas-shift reaction with the carbon monoxide
produced.

CO + H2O -> CO2 + H2

The hydrogen must be separated from the CO2 to be able to use it.

This is primarily done by Pressure Swing adsorption (PSA), amine scrubbing and membrane reactors

H = + 206,2 kJ/mol

H = -41,2 kJ/mol

56

Natural gas to syngas

ii.

The non-catalytic partial combustion of methane produces syngas with a H2/CO ratio (<2) close to the optimum
needed by the FischerTropsch synthesis.

This low H2/CO ratio gas results from the very little, if any, steam that is used in the process.

Partial oxidation reforming (POX)

CH4 + O2

->

CO + 2 H2

H = -35,7 KJ/MOL

Due to the absence of catalyst, the reformer operates at an exit temperature of about 1400 C.

Have the following disadvantages as compared to an autothermal reformer.


- Formation of soot and much higher levels of ammonia and HCN, which necessitates the use of a scrubber to
clean the gas.
- Higher oxygen consumption.
- Due to the absence of the watergas shift reaction, the unconverted methane as well as the methane produced
by the FischerTropsch reaction cannot be recycled to the reformer without removing the CO from the Fischer
Tropsch tail gas.

57

Natural gas to syngas

iii.

Autothermal reforming of natural gas to syngas in the presence of:


- catalyst
- steam
- oxygen

Milder operating conditions (exit temperature of ~1000 oC).

The syngas is soot-free and less ammonia and HCN are produced as compared to a POX.

However, at a Steam/Carbon ratio of 1.3 the syngas will have a H2/CO ratio of about 2.5, which is higher than the
ratio needed by the FischerTropsch section.

iv.

Steam reformer + Autothermal reformer.


Better energy utilization than the individual parts.
The thermal efficiency of the GTL plant can be improved by about 12%.
Less expensive than steam reforming.
More expensive than autothermal reforming.
The choice between combined and autothermal reforming will depend on the cost of the natural gas.

Autothermal reforming

Combined reforming

58

Fischer-Tropsch process

The Fischer-Tropsch process is a catalyzed chemical reaction.

Synthesis gas (syngas = carbon monoxide and hydrogen), is converted into liquid hydrocarbons of
various forms.

The most common catalysts are based on Fe and Co (Ni and Ru have also been used).

The process involves a variety of competing chemical reactions.

(2n+1)H2

nCO

->

CnH(2n+2)

nH2O

Most of the alkanes produced tend to be straight-chained, although some branched alkanes are
also formed.

In addition to alkane formation, competing reactions result in the formation of alkenes, as well as
alcohols and other oxygenated hydrocarbons.

Usually, only relatively small quantities of these non-alkane products are formed, although
catalysts favoring some of these products have been developed.

59

Fischer-Tropsch process

Another important reaction is the water gas shift reaction:


H 2O

CO

->

H2

CO2

It should be noted that, according to published data on the current commercial implementations of
the coal-based Fischer-Tropsch process, these plants can produce as much as 7 tons of CO2 per tons of liquid
hydrocarbon products (excluding the reaction water product).

This is due in part to the high energy demands required by the gasification process, and in part by the design of
the process as implemented.

Process conditions 150-300oC.

Higher temperatures lead to faster reactions and higher conversion rates, but also tend to favor methane
production.

Increasing the pressure leads to higher conversion rates and also favors formation of long-chained alkanes both of
which are desirable.

Typical pressures are in the range of one to several tens of atmospheres.

Chemically, even higher pressures would be favorable, but the benefits may not justify the additional costs of highpressure equipment.

60

Methane to Olefins vs. Gas to


Liquid

61

Methane To Olefins (MTO)

Olefins (e.g., ethylene and propylene) can also be produced from natural gas (i.e.,
methane) via: - Methanol
- Oxidative coupling routes

Methane-based routes use more than twice as much process energy than state-ofthe-art steam cracking routes do (the energy content of products is excluded).

There are two types of C1 routes through which natural gas can be converted into
olefins:
Indirect routes (via syngas or ethane)
Direct routes (directly from methane to light olefins).

The direct route from methane to olefins is a modified FischerTropsch reaction.

This route is technically difficult because of low selectivity to light olefins and high
yield of heavy hydrocarbons.

Today, the chemistry of the direct route remains one of the worlds major scientific
challenges while there are very few publications currently available on the topic.

62

Oxidative Coupling &


Dehydrogenation

OC:
DH:
PD:
OD:

Oxidative Coupling
Dehydrogenation
Propane Dehydrogenation
Oxidative Dehydrogenation

63

Oxidative coupling of methane

i)
-

Production of methane and oxygen.


Methane is separated from natural gas and is purified.
Oxygen is separated from air cryogenically.

ii)

Oxidative coupling (petrochemicals production).


4 CH4 + O2 -> <catalyst> 4 CH3 + 2 H2O

This reaction is called partial oxidation of methane.


2 CH3
H3C-CH3

->
->

H3C-CH3
H2C=CH2

->

H2C=CH2
+

H2

H2
(several other processes possible)

The catalysts used are mostly oxides of alkali, alkaline earth and other rare earth metals.

Hydrogen and steam are sometimes added to reduce coking on catalysts.

After one pass, roughly 80% of the total oxygen feed by mass is consumed.

The per-pass ethylene yield on a mass basis of methane is about 30%. [9]

64

Thoughts on Oxidative coupling of


methane (OCM)

The current performance of OCM routes in terms of energy use is poorer than that of state-of-theart steam cracking primarily due to the following problems:

i)
Low yields.
There is a trade-off between methane conversion and selectivity to ethylene.
Under 600 oC, the rate of reaction is slow, but above 600 oC undesired oxidations dominate the
reactions.

ii)
Separation.
Relatively high energy use in separation and recycling.

iii)
Catalysts.
Additional oxygen and hydrogen are required for reducing coking on catalysts.
High temperatures at 7501000 oC require catalysts with high thermal stability.

iv)
-

Other issues,
Possible explosion due to the mixture of oxygen and hydrocarbons.
CO and CO2 emissions, aromatic hydrocarbons, acid gas and organic acid.
Operability. [9]

65

Dehydrogenation of Ethane or
Propane [10]

Require high-purity approximately 90% oxygen.

Ethane oxidative dehydrogenation

Results in approximately 35% potential saving (including primary energy use in


oxygen production) on the SEC of state-of-the-art ethane cracking.

If the CO2 emissions from oxygen usage are included, the total CO2 emissions is 15%
higher than that for ethane cracking.
H3C-C3H + O2 -> H2C=C2H + H2O

Propane oxidative dehydrogenation.


H3C-CH2C3H + O2 -> H3C-CH2=C2H

H2 O

* This process produces little ethylene.

* Ethylene yield from steam cracking of propane is up to 45% and propylene yield is
12%.
66

Oxidative dehydrogenation
ODH is Exothermal.
Dehydrogenation and Cracking are Endothermal.
Process simplicity.
(a) The combination of exothermal alkane combustion with the
endothermal dehydrogenation, at temperatures higher than 700 oC.
The use of O2 enables to overcome thermodynamic limitations and
to avoid catalyst regeneration.
(b) A true ODH occurring with redox-type catalysts already at
temperatures lower than 500 oC. Amongst the catalysts used, the
most investigated ones are those based either on vanadium oxide or
on molybdenum oxide.

67

Biomass feed stock view

GAS:
FP:
FEM:
HG:
FT:

Gasification and liquefaction


Flash pyrolysis, sometimes in the presence of methane
Fermentation
Hydrogenation
Fischer-Tropsch synthesis to synthesize methanol or other products

68

Biomass Gasification [11]

69

Biomass Gasification

70

Biomass Gasification [11]

Char: is the solid material that remains after light gases (e.g. coal gas) and tar (e.g. coal tar)
have been driven-out or released from a carbonaceous material, during the initial stage of
combustion, which is known as carbonization, charring, devolatilization or pyrolysis.
71

Organic waste feed stock view

Recycling of plastic materials via retro polymerization.


Recycling of plastic materials via flash pyrolysis.
RCY:
Re-cycling pyrolysis using organic waste, such as discarded plastics, used rubber, etc.

72

Olefins from Recycling of plastic


materials (solid oil)
Material recycling.
Chemical recycling, retro-synthesis to
monomers.
Chemical recycling, cracking to naphtha.
Chemical recycling, syngas production.
Thermal recycling/energy production
73

Chemical recycling, "retrosynthesis to monomers"

Reversal of the Ziegler - Natta polymerization is theoretically possible.

This reaction is limited because selective transfer of the relatively high depolymerization enthalpy
to the reactants is difficult.

After 15 h the polymer was completely degraded to ethane and methane.

Not only polymer generated in situ, but also normal commercial polyethylene was degraded in the
same way.

In this context Dufaud and Basset have succeeded in activating the C-C bond in PE catalytically
with a strongly

Electrophilic Ziegler - Natta catalyst and cleaving it by the action of hydrogen at 150 oC.
Initially oligomers were formed which were then further cleaved to lower alkanes.

Formally regarded this is a statistical chain cleavage which, because of the involvement of
hydrogen, may even be considered to be a retro-polycondensation.

Never the less, this discovery is remarkable since for the first time a catalyst has been found that
is actively involved in the primary reaction.
74

Chemical recycling, "retrosynthesis to monomers"

Mechanism of the hydrogenolysis of polyethylene (according to Dufaud


and Basset). P = polymer chain.
75

Chemical recycling, cracking to


naphtha

Thermal depolymerization
(TDP) is a process using
hydrous pyrolysis for the
reduction of complex organic
materials (usually waste
products of various sorts, often
known as biomass and plastic)
into light crude oil.

The principal candidates for


thermal depolymerisation are:
-PMMA
-PET
-Poly-urethane
-Isoprene.

[12]

76

Chemical recycling, syngas


production [13]

The plasma torch jet provides a


homogeneous temperature of
more than 1200C to all fractions
of the syn-gas.

This results in a complete


dissociation of all
hydrocarbons, even
halogenated, with no indication
of recombination.

There are no toxic nor


carcinogenic organic
compounds present in the
produced fuel gas because no
such compounds can survive at
this temperature.

This means no formation of


Volatile Organic Compounds
(VOCs) such as dioxins and
furans as are found with other
technologies.

77

CO2 feed stock view

HG:
DH:
dehydration)
OU:
Olefins Cracking.

Hydrogenation
De-hydration process (e.g. methanol to olefins, methanol to propylene and ethanol
Olefins Upgrading (conversion of C4- C10) to light olefins, e.g. Superflex, Propylur and

78

CO2 recycling
How to collect the CO2?
Carbon dioxide scrubbing based on potassium carbonate exists.
- Single Step methods: CO2 + H2 Methanol, green methanol
- Single Step methods: CO2 Hydrocarbons
- 2 Step methods: CO2 , CO Hydrocarbons
If CO2 is heated to 2400oC, it splits into carbon monoxide and
oxygen.
The Fischer-Tropsch process can then be used to convert the CO
into hydrocarbons.

79

CO2 - Methane

The Sabatier process

As originally reported by Sabatier in 1902, it is well known that CO2 can be


reduced by H2 over a catalyst as:
CO2 + 4 H2 -> CH4 + 2 H2O

The global Sabatier reaction, which is reversible and exothermic H = -167


kJ/mol, proceeds catalytically at relatively low temperatures on a catalyst.

At elevated temperatures and pressures in the presence of a nickel catalyst.

Optionally ruthenium on alumina (aluminum oxide) makes a more efficient


catalyst.

80

Green methanol from CO2

Any
available
energy
source
(alternative
energies
such as
solar, wind,
geothermal,
and atomic
energy) can
be used for
the
production
of needed
hydrogen
and
chemical
conversion
of CO2.

81

Catalytic Hydrogenative
Conversion of Carbon Dioxide to
Methanol

CO2

3 H2

->

CH3OH

H2O

H298K = - 11.9 kcal/mol

This reaction has been known to chemists for more than 80 years. In fact,
some of the earliest methanol plants operating in the U.S. in the 1920-1930s
commonly used carbon dioxide for methanol production.

Lurgi AG, a leader in the methanol synthesis process, for example,


developed and thoroughly tested a high activity catalyst for methanol
production from CO2 and H2. Operating at a temperature around 260 C,
slightly higher than conventional methanol synthesis catalyst, the selectivity
to methanol is excellent.

The general composition of the catalysts for CO2 hydrogenation such as


Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 is similar to the ones used presently for methanol production
via syngas.
82

The hydrogen question

A)

By using still-existing significant sources of fossil fuels (mainly natural gas).

- The Carnol process:


- Methane thermal decomposition CH4
(Kvrner-process)
- Methanol synthesis
CO2
- Overall Carnol process

->

3 H2

2 H2
->

H298K =

CH3OH

3 CH4

CO2

- Steam reforming

2 CH4

2 H2O

- Dry reforming

2 CH4

CO2

- Bireforming

3 CH4

2 H2O +

B)

From splitting of water.

H2O

C)

Photohydrogen
- Biological hydrogen production from Algae and Bacteria.
- Photoelectrochemical cell.

->

17.9 kcal/mol

H2O

CH3OH

2 H2O

2 CO

6 H2

3C

- Bireforming

e-

->

->
->

2 CO
CO2

H2

+
->
O2

2 H2
4 CO

H298K =

8 H2 ->

4 CH3OH

68.3 kcal/mol

83

Bio vs. green

(Bio) H3C-CH2-OH + (Green) H2C =CH2 -> (Green) Polyethylene


(Bio/Green) H3C-CH2CH2CH2OH -> (Green) H3C-CH2-CH=CH2

Bio-mass

Bacteria(Clostridiumacetobutylicum)

BioButanol

BioEthanol

Processchemistry

GreenButanol

1)Hydrolyticconversion.
Biooils

2)Decarboxylation.

GreenButanol

3)Reforminglongchainalkanes.

84

Ethanol to butanol

2 H3C-CH2-OH ->{HAP}-> H3C-CH2-CH2-CH2-OH + H2O


Nonstoichiometric Hydroxyapatite HAP is represented by the formula Ca10z(HPO4)z(PO4)6-z(OH)2-z - nH2O;
0 < z - 1, n = 0-2.5
Effect of reaction temperature on yields of various alcohols from ethanol on
HAP (Ca/P ratio ) 1.64), contact
time 1.78 s.
With maximum selectivity of 76%
for Butanol.

85

Conclusions
Energy use and CO2 emissions in all C1 routes are much higher than
those of steam cracking.
Methane-based routes use more than twice as much process
energy than state-of-the-art steam cracking routes do.
Methane based routes lead to 6085% more CO2 emission than the
state-of-the-art ethane cracking.
Among the methanol-related routes, UOP MTO is the most efficient,
but its energy use is still about 150% higher compared to state-ofthe-art naphtha-based steam cracking.
Methanol-related routes have similar energy use, but cause slightly
higher CO2 emissions than DSM OCM I and II do.
86

Conclusions
By conducting a comparative analysis of the energy use, CO2
emissions and production costs of C1 technologies and steam
cracking, we found that methane-based routes use more than twice
as much than process energy than state-of-the-art steam cracking
routes do (the energy content of products is excluded).
Oxidative coupling routes are currently still immature due to low
ethylene yields and other problems.
The methane-based routes can be economically attractive in
remote, gas-rich regions where natural gas is available at low prices.
The development of liquefied natural gas (or LNG) may increase the
prices of natural gas in those locations.
While several possibilities for energy efficiency improvement do
exist, none of these natural gas-based routes is likely to become
more energy efficient or lead to less CO2 emissions than steam
cracking routes do.

87

Sources
[1] The Compelling Facts About Plastics, An analysis of
plastics production, demand and recovery, for 2005 in
Europe - Published Spring 2007
[2] Galli, Journal of Polymer Science, Part A, Polymer
Chemistry, 42 (2004), 396-415
[3] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crude_oil
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_gas
88

Sources
[6] Ren T., Patel M., Blok K., Energy (Amsterdam
Netherlands) (2005) Volume Date 2006 31(4) 425-451,
Olefins from conventional and heavy feedstocks, Energy
use in steam cracking and alternative processes.
[7] Refs\Belgiorno V., De Feo G., Della Rocca C., Napoli
R.M.A., Waste Management (Amsterdam Netherlands)
(2003) 23(1) 1-15, Energy from gasification of solid
wastes.pdf
[8] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_to_liquids
[9] Ren T., Patel M.K., Blok K., Energy (Oxford United
Kingdom) (2008) 33(5) 817-833, Steam cracking and
methane to olefins, Energy use CO2 emissions and
production costs

89

Sources
[10] Ren T., Patel M., Blok K., Energy (Amsterdam
Netherlands) (2005) Volume Date 2006 31(4) 425-451,
Olefins from conventional and heavy feedstocks, Energy
use in steam cracking and alternative processes.
[11] Refs\Belgiorno V., De Feo G., Della Rocca C., Napoli
R.M.A., Waste Management (Amsterdam Netherlands)
(2003) 23(1) 1-15, Energy from gasification of solid
wastes.pdf
[12] Newborough M., Highgate D., Vaughan P., Applied
Thermal Engineering (2002) 22(17) 1875-1883, Thermal
depolymerization of scrap polymers.pdf
[13] www.sunbayenergy.com/faq_plasma.html
90