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UOP technology used to convert methanol into olefins

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Nanjing Chengzhi Yongqing Energy Technology Co. Ltd. is set to build its second methanol-to-olefins (MTO) process unit using Honeywell UOP’s technology.

The new unit will have a capacity of 600 000 tpy — almost double the capacity of Chengzhi’s existing unit, which went into service in 2013.

MTO produces olefins including ethylene, propylene and butadiene precursors. Demand for these olefins is expected to grow by 6 – 7% per year for the next decade, driven by strong demand for plastics and other chemicals. Much of this demand will be met by domestic production from resources in China, including MTO technology.

These components have traditionally been derived from crude oil. For regions lacking domestic sources of crude oil, the advanced MTO technology allows for the use of other more economical feedstocks, such as coal and natural gas.

Honeywell UOP’s MTO process converts methanol from coal and natural gas into ethylene and propylene. At the heart of the technology, proprietary catalysts make it possible to efficiently adjust the ratio of propylene and ethylene produced so operators can meet demand for those products. In addition, the MTO process offers the lowest operating cost, quick and efficient start-up and operational reliability.

“Honeywell UOP’s MTO technology is a proven and growing process in China, where more than US$100 billion is expected to be invested in coal-to-chemicals technology in the next five years,” said John Gugel, vice president and general manager of UOP’s Process Technology and Equipment business. “This technology has the highest yield of olefins with the lowest consumption of methanol and catalysts, as well as the lowest operating and capital costs of any MTO solution.”

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