September 2020

Catalyts

Catalyst breakthrough for ethylene production

In a growing and competitive industry, ethylene producers are turning to catalyst suppliers for solutions to innovate. Until recently, a solution to the difficulties inherent to acetylene hydrogenation in ethylene plants has challenged the catalyst industry. Due to their lower total production cost, “front-end” process flowsheets are now predominantly selected for new projects.

Vianna, C., Adams, D., Clariant Catalysts

In a growing and competitive industry, ethylene producers are turning to catalyst suppliers for solutions to innovate. Until recently, a solution to the difficulties inherent to acetylene hydrogenation in ethylene plants has challenged the catalyst industry. Due to their lower total production cost, “front-end” process flowsheets are now predominantly selected for new projects. However, these flowsheets possess a fundamental process challenge: risk of runaway exothermic reactions in the acetylene reactor(s), with subsequent production outages. Furthermore, the catalyst can be heavily damaged during runaways. With spare reactors rarely installed, these events can cripple production until a c

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