(207a) Siluria's OCM: Direct Conversion of Natural Gas to Ethylene

Authors: 
Kemper, R., Linde Engineering

By using natural gas directly as a raw material for ethylene, Siluria’s Oxidative Coupling of Methane (OCM) introduces a new feedstock flexibility option for global producers in the olefin arena.  For more than 30 years, OCM has been in the focus of research work and the most advanced programs have proven its technical feasibility.  However, all past approaches did not result in successful scale up and commercialization due to poor process economics.  In particular, while in few cases selectivity and conversion had exceeded the thresholds strictly needed for economic feasibility, these targets were typically achieved at the expense of critical design features and operating conditions, such as the use of extremely high temperatures combined with fluidized beds and extremely short catalyst lifetimes.

Siluria’s proprietary process for OCM marks a breakthrough in olefin production and is viable for commercial production of ethylene.  Siluria’s patented catalyst enables high performances at relatively low temperatures and high pressures, with catalyst lifetimes in the order of years and by utilizing simple fixed bed adiabatic reactors.  Based on these unique catalytic performances, Siluria has developed a highly integrated process that combines OCM with other reacting steps, such as methanation, to deliver a high overall carbon efficiency with a very economical capital investment.

Linde, as a leader in ethylene technology, and Siluria are collaborating to commercialize this process, which represents an attractive alternative both for new installations and retrofits of existing plants.  The presentation will describe the process flow diagrams developed for different applications (world scale ethylene production, revamp of existing crackers and small scale on purpose units) and the relevant technical features and performances.

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