Natural Gas to Methanol to Olefins - Process Schematic
UOP's pilot scale production facilities produced promising results for the use of methanol in the production of olefins such as ethylene (MTO) and propylene (MTP) at a
commercial scale which can absorb significant quantities of methanol production. China is constructing a MTO facility.
MTO process requires 5 MT of methanol per 1 MT of ethylene. 1 MTO plant represents 2.5 MM MTPA of methanol.
1% ethylene demand met by MTO process represents 5% of the global methanol production. Ethylene market currently 90 MMTPY will be growing to 160+ MMTPA by 2015.
The global demand for propylene is showing dynamic development. In 2011 the global market for propylene was more than USD 90 billion.
Propylene is expected to grow at a considerable rate. The global ethylene market has started growing positively since 2010 and in 2011 the market has shown tremendous growth.
It appears propane dedydrogenetation is a preferred route currently for the production of propylene with 11 planned facilities.
These processes need methanol prices of less than $100/MT (methanol prices is 450$/MT in 2013) and the ethylene prices of $500/MT and the propylene prices of $400/T.
MTO process need lower NG prices and/or methanol prices (methanol price is 290$/MT in 2003) and the ethylene prices of $1,250/MT.
Prices of propylene, the olefin raw input used in the manufacturing of polypropylene for such things as reusable container and textiles, climbed 12% in January to $1,340 per MT.
According to the just-released monthly average of the Platts Global Petrochemical Index (PGPI), a benchmark basket of seven widely used petrochemicals.
The price increase was the largest of all seven components in the PGPI. Propylene supplies were tight globally as production units were taken offline for maintenance.
Also, follow the links to other pages for the graphs showing the comparative economics of the Methanol to MTO process at varying ethane,
methanol and ethylene price combinations to make this process viable.