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Siluria celebrates OCM technology

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Siluria Technologies, a leading innovator disrupting the energy and petrochemical industries with novel process technologies, has proven the commercial viability of oxidative coupling of methane to ethylene (OCM) through a successful first year of operations at its La Porte, Texas, demonstration plant.

Siluria's OCM technology is the first commercial process to directly convert natural gas into ethylene, a key building block for the global petrochemicals industry. The La Porte plant, which is wholly owned by Siluria and co-located with a polymer plant operated by Braskem America, Inc., began operation in early 2015. The demonstration plant is the final pre-commercial scale up of Siluria's OCM process technology.

"Braskem's world class operations team has worked closely with Siluria and has been key in making this demonstration facility a success," said Gary Koehler, Vice President of Operations.

"Both our proprietary catalyst and OCM process have performed reliably at our demonstration plant, further validating the commercial performance of our multiple years of pilot plant operations. This paves the way to move forward with commercial ethylene production projects in process in the US and abroad," said Interim CEO and President Erik Scher. Linde Engineering and Siluria Technologies are working jointly to deliver this breakthrough technology to the marketplace.

Since the demonstration plant's startup in early 2015, Siluria has successfully completed 18 test campaigns designed to replicate customer specific commercial operating conditions, including varying temperatures, pressures, flow rates, and inlet gas compositions. Siluria has also fully verified feedstock flexibility, running on both air and oxygen, and varying the amount of ethane that can be incorporated into the process as a co-feed.

Siluria plans to continue to utilise the La Porte facility to advance its OCM technology, using data generated by the plant to improve its proprietary models and refine the design basis for commercial plants. The plant will also enable Siluria to advance its leading competitive position by developing and testing new catalysts and process technologies to create the valuable materials required for manufacture of building materials, chemicals, coatings and a wide range of other products.

"Our La Porte plant and the engineering teams in San Francisco and Houston who support it are critical elements of Siluria's existing technology infrastructure, and they will allow us to continually expand our technologies' market impact with our global partners," Scher said. "The team and overall infrastructure we have built over the last seven years serve as a basis for us to develop new solutions to convert other low value sources of carbon into the high value products that the world needs."

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle

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