Volume 89 Issue 3 | pp. 20-21
Issue Date: January 17, 2011

Ethylene From Methane

Researchers take a new look at an old problem
Department: Business
Keywords: methane activation, natural gas, ethylene, petrochemicals

Two kinds of process improvements always interest petrochemical companies: ones that save energy and ones that enable the tapping of abundant raw materials. Oxidative coupling of methane, or OCM, promises both while making ethylene, the biggest petrochemical of them all.

OCM involves the activation of methane in the presence of oxygen to yield ethylene and water. The possibility of making the most important petrochemical directly from the major component of natural gas has long held . . .

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