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Engineering    2017, Vol. 3 Issue (2) : 171 -178
Research |
New Trends in Olefin Production
Ismaël Amghizar,Laurien A. Vandewalle,Kevin M. Van Geem(),Guy B. Marin
Laboratory for Chemical Technology, Ghent University, Ghent B-9052, Belgium

Most olefins (e.g., ethylene and propylene) will continue to be produced through steam cracking (SC) of hydrocarbons in the coming decade. In an uncertain commodity market, the chemical industry is investing very little in alternative technologies and feedstocks because of their current lack of economic viability, despite decreasing crude oil reserves and the recognition of global warming. In this perspective, some of the most promising alternatives are compared with the conventional SC process, and the major bottlenecks of each of the competing processes are highlighted. These technologies emerge especially from the abundance of cheap propane, ethane, and methane from shale gas and stranded gas. From an economic point of view, methane is an interesting starting material, if chemicals can be produced from it. The huge availability of crude oil and the expected substantial decline in the demand for fuels imply that the future for proven technologies such as Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) or methanol to gasoline is not bright. The abundance of cheap ethane and the large availability of crude oil, on the other hand, have caused the SC industry to shift to these two extremes, making room for the on-purpose production of light olefins, such as by the catalytic dehydrogenation of propane.

Keywords Olefin production      Steam cracking      Methane conversion      Shale gas      CO2 emissions     
Corresponding Authors: Kevin M. Van Geem   
Just Accepted Date: 16 March 2017   Online First Date: 07 April 2017    Issue Date: 27 April 2017
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l Amghizar
Laurien A. Vandewalle
Kevin M. Van Geem
Guy B. Marin
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Ismaë,l Amghizar,Laurien A. Vandewalle, et al. New Trends in Olefin Production[J]. Engineering, 2017, 3(2): 171 -178 .
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