Luxi Chemical Group Co., Ltd. selects Honeywell process technology and automation controls to convert coal to key plastic building blocks. Luxi will use Honeywell UOP’s advanced methanol-to-olefins (MTO) process to convert methanol derived from gasified coal into 293,000 metric tons per year of ethylene and propylene at its facility in Liaocheng, Shandong Province, China. The operations will be managed by a suite of automation and control technologies from Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS). Luxi Chemical Group Co., Ltd. is part of Luxi Group, a large state-owned enterprise involved in chemicals, fertilizers, chemical equipment and chemical engineering design.
Global demand for ethylene and propylene is growing 4% to 5% per year, according to Honeywell. Traditionally, these petrochemicals are produced from crude oil. The MTO process allows producers in regions without abundant domestic supplies of crude to produce the key plastics building blocks from natural gas or coal, which are often more abundant and cheaper.
“The technology to turn methanol from coal into plastics has been well-proven in China, which is expected to invest more than $100 billion in coal-to-chemicals technology in the next five years,” says Mike Millard, vice president and general manager of UOP’s Process Technology and Equipment business. “Eight companies in China have chosen UOP’s Advanced MTO technology, representing a total capacity of nearly 3.2 million metric tons per year.”
Honeywell UOP’s MTO process combines the UOP/Hydro MTO process and the Total/UOP Olefin Cracking process to increase yields and feedstock efficiency. The process converts methanol from coal and natural gas into ethylene and propylene. UOP’s proprietary catalysts make it possible to efficiently adjust the ratio of propylene and ethylene produced, according to the company.