First Industrial Application of Crude Oil Steam-Cracking Technology Passed in China
China's First Industrial Application of COSCT. (PHOTO: S&T Daily)
Edited by QI Liming
Sinopec has successfully tested a technology that can convert crude oil directly into ethylene, propylene and other chemical products ("crude-to-chemicals") and achieved the first industrial application of this technology called crude oil steam-cracking technology (COSCT) in Tianjin, China this November.
COSCT is one of the "crude-to-chemicals" solutions which skips the traditional crude oil refining process, which would be like making bread directly with wheat and eliminating the flour grinding process. This approach will greatly shorten the production process, lower production costs and significantly reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.
At present, ExxonMobil and Sinopec are the only two companies to successfully achieve industrial application of COSCT worldwide. It's estimated that for every one million tons of crude oil processed by this technology, nearly 500,000 tons of chemical products can be produced, 400,000 tons of which are high-value products such as ethylene, propylene, light aromatics and hydrogen. This technology presents huge economic value and potential.
Ethylene is a hydrocarbon gas considered one of the key benchmarks to measure the status of a country's petrochemical industry. With the improving of people's living standards, the global demand for chemical products is also growing, so demand for ethylene and propylene has also increased accordingly.
Sinopec is preparing to build an industrial demonstration plant for the direct production of chemicals from crude oil in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It is preparing to carry out the development and engineering design of packaged technology for the production of ethylene by steam-cracking one million tons of crude oil.