(311a) The Impact of Shale Gas and Oil on the Chemical Industry

Siirola, J. J., Purdue University
Lower alkanes and aromatics are very useful as both fuels and chemical raw materials. Occasionally supply disruptions constrained availability but also encouraged investigation of alternative feedstocks and chemistries. Recent new technologies for the production of unconventional gas and oil sources from tight shale formations significantly increased availability of both methane and condensate, radically altered process economics, resulted in the construction of much new intermediates capacity, and multiplied the ways traditional and alternative chemistries might be exploited. This presentation will outline historically how natural gas components became useful as chemical feedstocks, how government regulations occasionally led to perturbations in availability and price, how supply crises led to the development of alternative chemistries, catalysts, and ultimately the exploitation of shale resources. More specifically, will be discussed how excess coproducts, especially condensate, from increasing shale gas and oil production for energy are having significant unexpected impacts on the chemical process industries and opportunities for new process chemistry research.


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