MOSCOW (MRC) -- Continuously improving efficiency and reducing carbon emissions is standard practice across INEOS. We know that a lot of small improvements will amount to a big difference, said the company.
On paper, converting ethylene to ethanol is relatively simple - just add water. In practice, the industrial chemistry that underlies the process is somewhat more complex, requiring large amounts of water, steam and energy. But here’s how our team in Grangemouth recently both improved plant efficiency and made a major cut to emissions.
The INEOS Grangemouth ethanol plant was commissioned in 1983 and has been significantly upgraded over the last 5 years to improve performance and reliability. The production process requires an excess amount of water for the reaction to take place, but needs the right balance be struck. Using more water in the reaction will decrease impurities, while further down the line more steam is needed to purify and ‘dry’ the product by boiling off the water – a costly process. Conversely, too little water increases production of unwanted by-products and not enough ethylene is converted into ethanol.
The technical team decided to review the entire manufacturing process. Was there a way to be more efficient, reducing water and steam usage, with a reduction in carbon emissions per tonne of product too.
Determined to come up with a solution, they carefully examined every aspect of the manufacturing process alongside the operations team, from the temperature the reactants enter the reactors to the management of energy and steam across the asset.
We remind, INEOS has completed the purchase of Mitsui Phenols Singapore in a USD330m deal, giving the UK-based firm over 1m tonnes/year of additional Asia production capacity. Based on Jurong Island, Singapore, the entire asset base of the Mitsui subsidiary will be transferred to INEOS. The business has a production capacity of 410,000 tonnes/year of cumene, 310,000 tonne/year of phenol and 185,000 tonnes/year of acetone.