China's Jiutai Energy has licensed the methanol-to-olefins
(MTO) technology of Honeywell's UOP for a new project in Ordos City, China, the
companies said on Thursday.
The UOP/Hydro MTO process converts methanol from gasified coal or
natural gas to produce high yields of ethylene and
The breakthrough technology allows producers to tap
abundant coal resources, rather than more expensive petroleum,
to produce petrochemicals, UOP explains.
UOP's MTO process will allow Jiutai to use methanol derived from cheaper and
abundant coal to maximize yields of high-value petrochemicals, reduce operating
costs and expand its presence in China's growing ethylene and
propylene markets, said Pete Piotrowski, general manager
of UOPs process technology and equipment business
This project is another milestone for MTO
technology and another example of how this technology can tap
cheaper feedstocks such as coal and natural
gas to meet the growing global demand for petrochemical products.
China is the world's largest producer of coal, accounting
for nearly half of the world's production, according to the US
Energy Information Administration, making it an attractive
alternative feedstock for in-country production
of plastics building blocks.
Jiutai will produce 600,000 tpy of ethylene and propylene at
its facility in Ordos City, Inner Mongolia Province, China.
In addition to technology licensing, UOP is to
provide basic engineering, catalysts, adsorbents, specialty
equipment, technical services and training for the project, which is expected to start
up in 2014.
The MTO process, jointly developed by UOP and INEOS,
converts methanol from crude oil and non-crude
oil sources such as coal or natural gas to ethylene and
The process, based on proprietary UOP catalysts, is proven
to provide high yields with minimal byproducts, according to
the company. MTO also offers flexibility in the quantity of
propylene and ethylene produced, so producers can adjust plant
designs to most effectively address market demands.