Shell and Linde collaborate on low-carbon ethylene

Article by Amanda Doyle

SHELL and Linde have agreed to collaborate to commercialise low-carbon technology for the production of ethylene.

They will use ethane-oxidative dehydrogenation (E-ODH) technology, which the two companies have been developing separately for years. The collaboration on the technology will bring together patent positions and knowledge, and allow for the deployment of the technology across the chemicals sector to be accelerated.

The E-ODH process is an alternative to ethane steam cracking, which is energy-intensive and operates at temperatures of around 900oC. E-ODH technology, which Linde has marketed as EDHOX, operates at temperatures of around 400oC, which results in CO2 emissions that are up to 60% lower than steam reforming. The process uses catalytic conversion of ethane to ethylene in a fixed-bed catalytic reactor and it produces acetic acid as a co-product which has additional economic value. A pure CO2 stream can also be extracted to store or use in other processes. Linde has successfully validated the technology at a demonstration plant in Pullach, Germany.

John van der Velden, Senior Vice President Global Sales & Technology at Linde Engineering, said: “With the EDHOX process, we have not only developed a cost-efficient alternative but are also providing the petrochemical industry with a low-emission process.”

Thomas Casparie, Executive Vice President of Shell’s global chemicals business, said: “Base chemicals are transformed into a range of finished products that help society live, work and respond to climate change. We look forward to our Shell in-house innovation going on to contribute to the collective reduction of carbon emissions from the manufacture of chemicals. It’s been great to work with Linde on this ambitious and creative combination of technology.”

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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