An innovative and revolutionary project: Direct Conversion of Gas in Olefins
Maire Tecnimont is committed to develop innovative industrial processes and technologies. Therefore, in 2016 the Maire Tecnimont Group became investor in Siluria Technologies Inc.
Siluria is a technology company based in San Francisco that has developed innovative industrial technologies for the production of chemicals and fuel made from gas rich in methane. The technologies are based on an innovative and proprietary “OCM” process (Oxidative Coupling of Methane) for the direct conversion of gas rich in methane int o olefins such as ethylene and propylene.
In parallel with this investment, the Maire Tecnimont Group becomes Siluria’s exclusive partner for the development, commercialization, and licensing the in the market the Technology for the conversion of “gas rich in methane” in polymer grade Propylene with the flexibility of also producing Ethylene and, last but not least, Butene-1 and Hexene-1.
The largest demonstration plant is located in La-Porte Texas. And the first industrial plant is expected to come in operation by the end of 2020.
Propylene is one of the main building blocks for the global petrochemical industry, with a total market of approx. 100 Million tons per year.
For decades, propylene has been produced through a high-energy and capital intense process. The significant required Capex and the low energy efficiency of these technologies has historically resulted in the construction of large scale plants (millions of tons per year capacity and multi-billion dollar outlay).
Our GAS TO PROPYLENE Technology makes the production of propylene possible via an innovative process at far higher energy efficiency. This means lower investment costs, the reduced consumption of fossil fuels and ultimately lower greenhouse gases.
New technology to separate acid components in the natural gas stream
As part of the selection of innovative sustainable projects, the Group promoted the DCCD™ (Dual Column Cryogenic Distillation) technology, an innovative process for the separation, by means of cryogenic distillation, of the acid components contained in natural gas wells.
Many natural gas fields contain a significant amount of CO₂: to make the gas suitable for commercialization and usage, it has to be removed. CO₂, removed by means of traditional technologies, is normally vented into the atmosphere since in many cases re-injection costs make this choice unfeasible, with the consequence that, also for this reason, fields with high CO₂ content are not exploited.
The DCCD™ technology, jointly developed by Tecnimont and the Politecnico di Milano, permits the development of these natural gas fields in a more economical and sustainable way. The intrinsic characteristics of the DCCD™ technology reduce natural gas production costs and CO2 re-injection costs, thus developing these challenging fields while limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Following thorough thermodynamic studies, modeling and simulations, in 2016, a laboratory scale pilot plant was built and put into operation. With the execution of a year-long experimental campaign, the DCCD™ technology has been successfully demonstrated and validated.
During 2017, the main activities focused on the execution of further experimental tests, on the development of a technology design package for an industrial plant, and on the search for a Partner to collaborate for the realization of a demonstration pilot plant, on a semi-industrial scale, thus allowing the start of the marketing and licensing of the new technology.
Novel chemicals and intermediates production
As a follow up to the European Commission funded R&D Project CARENA, KT – Kinetics Technology proceeded with the experimental activities at pilot level on the application of membrane reactors for the production of propylene via propane selective dehydrogenation.
The research was performed in collaboration with the University of Salerno.