UOP MTO technology clinches fifth license in China

UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, says that China’s Better Clean Energy has licensed its advanced Methanol-to-Olefins (MTO) process to convert methanol into high-value petrochemicals, helping meet growing global demand for plastics and other key materials.

Honeywell UOP’s MTO technology is said to provide a cost-effective way to convert methanol derived from coal or natural gas, rather than imported crude oil, into the components to make plastics, synthetics and other materials.

This award is Honeywell UOP’s fifth licensing win for its MTO process and comes after the successful start up of its first commercial-scale MTO facility for China’s Wison Clean Energy in September 2013. That unit has produced more than 360 million pounds of ethylene and propylene since it went into production, meeting all of its performance criteria, including yield quality and quantity.

“MTO technology has revolutionized the modern petrochemicals industry by providing an economical way to turn low-cost coal and even natural gas into the chemicals needed to make plastics,” said Mike Millard, Vice President/General Manager of Honeywell UOP’s Process Technology and Equipment business. “Our first commercial MTO facility in China proved the viability of our technology, generating high yields of the compounds needed to meet the growing global demand for plastics.”

Better Clean Energy will use Honeywell UOP’s Advanced MTO process to produce 300,000 tonnes/year of ethylene and propylene at its new facility in Shandong province in Eastern China. In addition to technology licensing, Honeywell UOP will provide engineering, training, technical service and speciality equipment for the facility, which is expected to start up in 2016.

Honeywell UOP’s MTO process combines the UOP/Hydro MTO process and the Total/UOP Olefin Cracking process to significantly increase yields and feedstock efficiency. The process converts methanol from non-crude oil sources such as coal and natural gas into ethylene and propylene. In addition to offering the lowest operating cost, quick and efficient start-up and operational reliability, the process also offers flexibility in the ratio of propylene and ethylene produced, so operators can adjust to most effectively meet market demands, says UOP.

Since 2011, Honeywell UOP has announced four other MTO technology licenses in China. In addition to Wison, Shandong Yangmei Hengtong Chemicals Co. will use the technology to produce 295,000 tonnes/year of ethylene and propylene, and Jiutai Energy (Zhungeer) Co. will produce 600,000 tonnes/year of ethylene and propylene.

Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical Co. also is building what is expected to be the largest single-train MTO unit in the world, producing 833,000 tonnes/year of ethylene and propylene.

Better Clean Energy was founded in 2007 and is a subsidiary of Better Holdings Group, an automobile wheel manufacturer, integrating independent R&D design and production.


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