Start up of the world's first direct methane to ethylene plant

wallpapers Industry 2020-12-09

natural gas with abundant reserves and low price can be directly converted into ethylene, the largest chemical basic raw material in the world. Recently, the United States Siluria technology company held a grand start-up ceremony for its pilot plant in Texas, which became the first enterprise in the world to realize the direct industrialization of natural gas into ethylene on a large scale. The new route may bring significant changes to the traditional petroleum based ethylene industry. As basic industrial raw materials,

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play an important role in petrochemical industry. Ethylene output is one of the important indicators to measure the development level of a country's petrochemical industry. In addition to North America and the Middle East, most countries and regions in the world, including China, use naphtha as raw material to produce ethylene by steam cracking. This method not only consumes high energy, emits more greenhouse gases and costs high, but also needs to occupy precious oil resources because the raw materials come from petroleum.

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in order to reduce the dependence on oil, many countries have carried out research on the production of olefins from natural gas with the main component of methane. There are two routes to produce ethylene from natural gas: direct method and indirect method. Compared with the tedious process of indirect method, direct method can convert methane into ethylene in one step, which has high economic value and is very attractive. However, the selective activation and directional conversion of methane is a world-class problem, which is known as the "Holy Grail" of the whole chemical industry. Therefore, from the 1980s to the beginning of this century, the academia has not been able to develop an industrial feasible direct production process of methane to ethylene. The key to the breakthrough of

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lies in the catalyst. In 2010, Silvia company creatively used biological templates to accurately synthesize nanowire catalysts, and used high-throughput technology to screen out the most suitable element composition from a large number of alternative catalysts, and developed a commercially feasible catalyst for direct production of methane to ethylene.

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can efficiently catalyze the conversion of methane to ethylene at 5-10 atmospheres at 200 ℃ - 300 ℃ lower than that of traditional steam cracking process, and the activity is more than 100 times that of traditional catalysts. The reactor designed by

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Silvia company is divided into two parts. One part is used to convert methane into ethylene and ethane, and the other part is used to decompose the by-product ethane into ethylene. The heat required for the cracking reaction comes from the heat released from the methane conversion reaction. This design allows the feed of the reactor to be either natural gas or ethane, while maximizing energy savings.


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