December 2002

Process Technology/Petrochemical

Increase propylene yields cost-effectively

Using a new catalytic system, steamcrackers can produce more C3s from existing units

The annual growth rates for propylene exceeds that of ethylene. Accordingly, olefin manufacturers are seeking cost-effective options to obtain the highest propylene to ethylene ratios (P/E) from steamcrackers - the main propylene source with 70% share in the primary production. In the cracking furnaces, the achievable P/E is limited to approximately 0.65. At higher ratios, the total olefins yield (i.e., the sum of ethylene and propylene) drops to an uneconomically low level. To overcome this situation, different approaches have been applied to achieve higher propylene production. The secondary propylene production routes

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