July 2007

Bonus Report: Alternative Energy Sources

Consider coal for olefins production

Advanced methods use methanol as a valuable processing step to convert coal into various petrochemicals

Roberts, P., Johnson Matthey Process Technologies; Sutton, M., Davy Process Technology

Coal has long been used as a feedstock for chemical production. For example, the Carbide process for acetylene production is a well-known example of a coal-to-chemicals technology. In addition, coal gasification processes that produce gas, coal tar and ammonia, as well as power, are high profile. However, as the era of plentiful low-cost oil and natural gas along with technologies to convert such hydrocarbon feedstocks into chemical products became common, most chemical/petrochemical manufacturers abandoned coal as a primary feedstock. Coal is back. Time and economic conditions have reshaped the petrochemical/chemical manufacturing industry. Coal is back and is again being considered as a

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