logo


Dec-2022

World scale crude to olefins

The Crude-to-Chemicals project is designed for world-scale petrochemicals production to deliver a flexible, bankable, and sustainable free-market investment.

Keith Couch, Senior Director, Technology Sales and Integrated Projects
Greg Funk, Senior Offering Manager, Olefins
Honeywell UOP

Viewed : 231


Article Summary

Through strong cooperation with the customer, Honeywell UOP has developed a configuration that enables 100% net olefins derived products. The Molecular Management Solution, also called the Integrated Olefin Suite (IOS), leverages commercially demonstrated and proven UOP technologies deployed in a way to optimise the steam cracker yields and margin cost-effectively to produce this bankable solution.

The global ethylene market is the largest petrochemical market by volume and value, and it influences the economics of many downstream petrochemical derivatives. The global ethylene market consumes approximately 178 million metric tons per annum and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 3-3.5%, which is about 6 MM tons per year of new production capacity needed to meet the growing demand.

The consumption of ethylene within the ethylene derivatives chain is as follows:
• 62% of ethylene is consumed in polyethylene (PE) manufacturing.
• 16% of ethylene is consumed in ethylene oxide (EO)/ethylene glycol (EG) manufacturing, with 70% of all EO ending up as monoethylene glycol (MEG); and,
• 5% of ethylene is consumed in styrene manufacturing.

The Crude-to-Chemicals project is designed for world-scale petrochemicals production to deliver a flexible, bankable, and sustainable free-market investment. Through strong cooperation with the customer, Honeywell UOP has developed a configuration that enables 100% net olefins derived products. The Molecular Management Solution, also called the Integrated Olefin Suite (IOS), leverages commercially demonstrated and proven UOP technologies deployed in a way to optimise the steam cracker yields and margin cost-effectively to produce this bankable solution.

The global ethylene market is the largest petrochemical market by volume and value, and it influences the economics of many downstream petrochemical derivatives.

The global ethylene market consumes approximately 178 million metric tons per annum and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 3-3.5%, which is about 6 MM tons per year of new production capacity needed to meet the growing demand.

The consumption of ethylene within the ethylene derivatives chain is as follows:
• 62% of ethylene is consumed in polyethylene (PE) manufacturing.
• 16% of ethylene is consumed in ethylene oxide (EO)/ethylene glycol (EG) manufacturing, with 70% of all EO ending up as monoethylene glycol (MEG); and,
• 5% of ethylene is consumed in styrene manufacturing.

If we overlay the amount of ethylene consumed per ton of derivative product made: 0.92-1.01 tons of ethylene per ton of polyethylene produced, 0.6 tons of ethylene per ton of MEG produced, and 0.29 tons of ethylene per ton of styrene produced, the economics of ethylene production will have the greatest effect on the PE market overall. More than 95% of the global ethylene production comes from steam cracking technology and is roughly split equally between ethane and naphtha steam crackers.

Ethane is a regionally available feed source, mainly in North America and the Middle East, and is not in sufficient supply to meet the global demand, while naphtha is readily available globally. It’s the economics of steam cracking technology that drives the economics of ethylene derivatives, with the two main factors being feed stock costs and selectivity to light olefins and are reflected in the Cash Cost of Production (CCOP).

If we look at the world 2020 CCOP curve (Figure 1) for ethylene from IHS Markit we can see that the naphtha steam crackers tend to be the “price setters” for the ethylene market due to the $200-$400 per metric ton cost disadvantage, the green squares that are on the right side of the curve below, versus and ethane steam crackers, which are the red diamonds on the left-hand side if the curve.

How do we unlock the potential of a naphtha steam cracker and improve the competitiveness of naphtha crackers? The key is looking at the selectivity to ethylene and propylene of the different molecules that are fed to the steam cracker, or what Honeywell UOP calls Molecule Management.

In a dynamic and competitive global market, a steam cracking unit should no longer be treated as a “garbage” processor of the leftover streams. Steam cracking investors and operators need the most efficient technology available to ensure profitable operations. A steam cracking unit can be designed to process a range of molecules from ethane to diesel. However, the profitability of the unit varies greatly with different feeds due to yield differences. The production of lower value by-products such as fuel gas, pygas, and pyoil creates a drag on operating margins, requires incremental CAPEX and OPEX, and creates additional market risk for the investor.

As shown in Figure 2, a steam cracking unit that is fed ethane (C2) yields about 80% of the target product ethylene; with light naphtha (SR LN) it yields less than 40% of the target product; or with heavier feedstocks such as heavy naphtha (SR HN) and diesel – it produces an even greater proportion of low-value by-products.
In other words, heavier feed or unoptimised feed results in poor carbon and hydrogen efficiencies. A higher return on investment can be achieved with an innovative solution that maximises the production of high-value ethylene and propylene products, minimises the production of undesirable pygas and pyoil by-products, and optimises opportunistic products such as butadiene.

When processing naphtha range feed in the steam cracker complex, it is well-known that feeds richer in n-paraffins are a preferred feedstock. As shown in Figure 3, normal paraffins have a superior cracking yield pattern versus iso paraffins. Due to the improved yield of ethylene from normal paraffins, both carbon efficiency and hydrogen efficiency improve. Naphtha feeds rich in normal paraffins have the following benefits relative to iso paraffins:
• Increase ethylene yield by more than 100%
• Reduce C4 by-product yield by more than 50%
• Reduce pygas yield by more than 50%
• Reduce pyoil yield by more than 60%
• Reduce furnace coking resulting in fewer decoking cycles and improved operability

Commercial configuration study
Honeywell UOP’s Integrated Olefin Suite (UOP IOS) employs a collection of flexible, proven technologies to maximise normal paraffin in the feed to the steam cracker, co-process certain molecules more efficiently, and manage lower-valued by-products to enable the following:
• Make more light olefins with the same amount of feed
• Make the same amount of light olefins with less feed
• Target high-value by-products to match strategic objectives
• Reduce or eliminate low-value products with market risk
• Improve profitability and ROI
• Reduce environmental footprint per MT of light olefin


Add your rating:

Current Rating: 4


Your rate:

  • Responsive image OpX® Digital
  • Responsive image ITW technologies online cleaning
  • Responsive image Atlas Copco Expander Compressors
  • Responsive image Follow Lummus Technology on LinkedIn
  • Responsive image Trap more foulants with ActiPhase®
  • Responsive image Grid nozzles for fluid catalytic cracking units
  • Responsive image Becht fired heaters services
  • Responsive image Get an overview of your Unit Lifecycle
  • Responsive image Process catalysts
  • Responsive image RVP in process