Coatings promise cooler cracking and more

Coatings containing catalyst may allow steam crackers to produce ethylene and other olefins at lower temperatures, reducing energy consumption and emissions, hopes a Canadian consortium. The technology could cut the energy costs of olefins’ manufacturing by up to 20% and significantly improve plant efficiency, say its backers. It also may open up new opportunities for catalysts elsewhere in the chemical industry.

The consortium is led by Quantiam Technologies, Edmonton, developer of the coating. The group also includes NOVA Chemicals, a major olefins’ producer.  It budgeted C$16.8-million for the entire project at its inception in 2001 and recently has secured some public sector funding to complete the final stages of trial manufacturing and to demonstrate the technology in the field; Sustainable Development Technology Canada, a foundation created by the Canadian government, is one of the two public-sector entities providing C$1.45 million in support for these final two stages.

By using the catalytic coatings on furnace coils, the consortium hopes to achieve a reduction of 50-100°C in operating temperatures. Such coated coils could be retrofitted to many of the 1,400 crackers now operating worldwide.

“Coatings are under development that integrate catalyst formulations into commercially viable material systems using current industry furnace alloys and that are adaptable to the next generation of furnace materials,” says Steve Petrone, president of Quantiam. He anticipates that more than one coating formulation will be required to address the full range of feedstocks used by the industry. “The coatings are best described as composites, consisting of metallic and ceramic constituents, and exclude expensive constituents such as precious metals,” he notes. The use of nanoscale materials is crucial to the success of the coatings whose formulations and structures are proprietary.

A pilot plant for coating tubes (via a proprietary technique) has been built and commissioned by Quantiam, says Petrone. “We are scaling-up key unit operations to achieve coating of commercial-scale prototypes and the facility should commence prototype manufacturing for field trials in this quarter,” he notes. By the first quarter of 2006, he expects sufficient capacity for coating tubes and fittings to allow significant-sized field trials.

All output initially will go to NOVA, for trials at its Joffre, Alta., and Corunna, Ont., complexes. Field testing of coated-tube life is already underway. “Several staged field trials are contemplated at NOVA between now and mid-2007, with different fractions of full furnaces, different feedstocks, different furnace technologies, and evaluation under a range of operating conditions — aimed to maximize learnings and optimize product prior to launch,” says Petrone.

Commercial introduction is expected in 2007, he adds. Quantiam plans to supply finished coils and other coated parts.

“The integration of catalyst functionality into a coating is expected to provide other potential opportunities not currently considered appropriate for ‘classical’ use of catalysts,” says Petrone.
Quantiam already has commercialized a coating of a metal-matrix composite based on nanomaterials that improves the corrosion- /erosion-resistance of metals used at temperatures of up to 1,150°C (CP, Jan., p.13).

More News:

  • AIChE Announces New President And Board

    Cheryl Teich, reaction engineering expertise area leader at The Dow Chemical Company, will become president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) in 2015.

  • ASM Consortium Marks 20th Anniversary

    November marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the Abnormal Situation Management (ASM) Consortium.

  • DuPont Challenge Encourages Entries For 2015 Competition

    The DuPont Challenge encourages students to develop a better understanding and passion for STEM by researching and writing an informative essay offering solutions to today’s challenges regarding food, energy, protection and innovation, or a story on a science discovery.

  • SOCMA Hosts 93rd Annual Dinner And Awards Showcase

    The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) is returning to the New York Marriott Marquis Times Square on December 8, 2014, for its 93rd Annual Dinner honoring Performance Improvement Award winners and featuring a Leadership and Business Development Speaker Showcase.

  • Summit Features Bio-Based Tech Startups

    The 6th Next Generation Bio-Based & Sustainable Chemicals Summit, February 3 – February 5, 2015, in New Orleans, LA brings together bio-based tech startups, specialty chemical manufacturers, chemical majors, feedstock providers, financiers and strategic venture capitalists to explore bio-based chemicals.

  • Flint Hills Resources Will Cease Marysville Operations

    Flint Hills Resources plans to close its Marysville, Michigan polypropylene facility.

  • EFCE Seeks Award Nominees

    Award honors outstanding thesis in thermodynamics or transport properties

  • British Safety Regulator Gets New Head

    Executive has worked in both the public and private sectors

  • AkzoNobel Partnership Investigates Waste As Feedstock

    AkzoNobel is part of a major Dutch partnership working with Canada's Enerkem to explore the use of waste streams as a feedstock for chemical production and the development of waste-to-chemicals facilities.

  • Scientist And CorningWare Inventor Stookey Dies

    S. Donald Stookey, credited with inventing CorningWare, died on Tuesday, November 4 at the age of 99.

All news »

What are your comments?

Join the discussion today. Login Here.

Comments

No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments