Total Petrochemicals, IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) and its subsidiary Axens announce an alliance with the objective to develop a new optimized technology for the production of bio-ethylene by dehydration of ethanol. The proprietary technology will address large-scale units and the quality of the monomers will be in line with modern derivative production processes.
Based on Total Petrochemicals original proprietary catalyst development, this new technology will open the way to a competitive production of bio-ethylene from renewable resources with lower energy consumption and lower CO2 emissions. Bio-ethylene could be integrated in various polymer applications such as polyethylene (PE), polyethyleneteraphthalate (PET), polystyrene (PS), polyvinylchloride (PVC) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) in existing unmodified downstream polymerization installations.
The goal of this co-development is to implement a new generation of catalysts, envisioning the highest possible carbon-yield for ethylene and to use advanced techniques to minimize energy consumption for the production of polymer-grade ethylene. Within the agreement, Total will continue its work on the optimization of the catalyst formulation at the research center in Feluy, Belgium.
IFPEN will complete the process development at its Lyon site, France. Axens will finalize this development and prepare the technology for commercialization by ensuring the industrial catalyst manufacturing and by providing all process licensing related services to Total Petrochemicals and other potential customers worldwide. It is expected that the technology will be ready for industrial implementation around end of 2011.
The alliance is also covering other olefinic monomers production from bio-derived higher alcohols which will be developed in parallel within the same technology platform. “With this new approach we will be able to respond to a growing demand for plastics based on renewable raw-materials. Efficient alcohol dehydration will broaden the commercial potential of all the on-going developments in the production of second generation bio-based alcohols and contribute to sustainable application of such forms of bio-based feedstock”, said Bernadette Spinoy, Total Petrochemicals Senior Vice President Base Chemicals.
Total Petrochemicals encompasses the petrochemicals activities of Total, one of the largest international oil companies. Its business includes base petrochemicals from steam crackers and certain refinery processing plants – olefins (ethylene, propylene), C4 fractions and aromatics (benzene, toluene, xylenes and styrene) –, as well as the commodity polymers derived from them (polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene). Total Petrochemicals employs about 6,000 persons in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. Its products are used in many consumer and industrial markets, including packaging, construction and automotive.
IFP Energies nouvelles
IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) is a public-sector research, industrial innovation and training center active in the fields of energy, transport and the environment. Its mission is to provide public players and industry with efficient, economical, clean and sustainable technologies to take up the challenges facing society in terms of climate change, energy diversification and water resource management. It boasts world-class expertise.
Axens is an international provider of advanced technologies, catalysts, adsorbents and services, with a global reputation for basic engineering design excellence. The main scope of Axens’ business is focused on the conversion of oil, coal, natural gas and biomass to clean fuels as well as production and purification of major petrochemical intermediates. Axens’ global offer is based on: highly trained human resources, modern production facilities and extensive commercial feedback from plants using our processes and catalysts all around the world.
Tel. +32 2 288 37 77
IFP Energies nouvelles
Tel. + 33 1 47 52 62 07
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Tel. +33 1 47 14 25 14
Source: Total, press release, 2011-03-10.