Profile of Petrochemical Industry and its Structure (Part - 1) Chemical Engineering Notes | EduRev

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Chemical Engineering : Profile of Petrochemical Industry and its Structure (Part - 1) Chemical Engineering Notes | EduRev

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Petrochemical Industry

Petroleum and petrochemical industries have revolutionized our life and are providing the major basic needs of rapidly growing, expanding and highly technical civilisation as a source of energy for domestic, industrial, transport sectors and as feedstock for fertilisers, synthetic fibers, synthetic rubbers, polymers, intermediates, explosives, agrochemicals, dyes, and paints etc. Modern petrochemical industry fulfill the requirement of large number of products which are being used in some or other form in daily life and also closely linked with the socio-economic aspiration of people which includes packaging to agriculture, automobiles to telecommunication, construction to home appliances, health care to personal care, pesticides to fertiliser, textile to tyre cord, chemicals to dyes, pharmaceuticals and explosives. Linkage of socioeconomic of petrochemical in our life have mention in Table M-VII 1.1. There is hardly any area of our life that is not compacted by petrochemicals.

The petrochemical industry is highly technological and capital intensive. Developments in petrochemical technology are taking place very fast. Tremendous resources and efforts are being continuously spent on increasing size of the plant, the yield through continuous upgradation of catalyst, reducing energy consumption and cost reduction through novel process rate, new chemistries or scale up approaches.

Due to huge population, the per capita consumption of petrochemicals in India is about 506kg compared to global weighted average 25 kg and China’s consumption of around 25-30 kg. Oil refining and steam cracking of naphtha and natural gas (ethane & propane) are the common routes of producing petrochemicals. Table M-VII 1.2 gives the building blocks for Indian petrochemical capacities. Many Indian refineries are now entering petrochemicals in a big way through green field projects and expansions. Major ethylene complex in India are given in Table M-VII 1.3. The potential possible in India can just be imagined, now with growth in various sectors of economy like automotives, construction, textiles etc taking off well . 

Table M-VII 1.1: Petrochemical Socio-economic Linkage 

 

Group of Product

Areas

Plastics and Polymers

Agricultural water management, packaging, automobiles,

telecommunications, health and hygiene, education, transportation, building.

Synthetic rubber

Transportation industry, chemical, electrical, electronics,

adhesives, sealants, coatings.

Synthetic fiber

Textile, transportation, industrial fabrics, geo-textiles, non-woven

fabrics.

Synthetic detergents

Health and Hygiene.

Industrial chemicals

Drugs & pharmaceuticals, pesticides, explosives, surface coating,

dyes and intermediates, lubricating oil additives, adhesives, oil field chemicals, antioxidants, chemicals, metal extraction, printing ink, paints, corrosion inhibitors, solvents, perfumes, food additives.

Fertilisers

Agriculture, polymers.

Table M-VII 1.2: Indian Petrochemical Capacities for Building Blocks (Metric tonnes) (2009-10) 

 

Product

Installed

Capacity

Production

Ethylene

3021

2515

Propylene

2387

1859

Butadiene

295

205

Aromatics

 

 

Benzene

1158

823

Toluene

281

123

Mixed xylene

165

55

o-Xylene

474

358

p-Xylene

2296

2223

Linear Alkyl benzene

497

464

Ethylene oxide

140

154

Phenol

74

71.59

 

 Table M-VII 3: Major Ethylene Complexes in India(Metric tonnes)

Name of the complex

Location

Capacity

Feedstock

Reliance formerly IPCL

Vadodara

1,30,000

Naphtha

Reliance formerly IPCL

Nagothane

4,00,000

Gas

Reliance formerly IPCL

Gandhar

3,00,000

Gas

Reliance

Hazira

2,50,000

Naphtha/Gas

Haldia petrochemicals

Haldia

5,20,000

Naphtha

GAIL

Auria

4,00,000

Gas

Oswal Agro

Mumbai

23,000

Naphtha

Indian Oil Corporation Limited

Panipat

800,000

Naphtha


Structure of Petrochemical Complexes 
 The petrochemical complexes involve one or a combination of the following operations 

  • The manufacture of basic raw materials like syngas, methane, ethylene, propylene, acetylene, butadiene, benzene, toluene, xylenes, etc. The basic building processes include partial oxidation, steam reforming, catalytic and thermal cracking, alkylation, dealkylation, hydrogenation, disproportionation, isomerisation, etc. The commonly used unit operations are distillation, extractive distillation, azeotropic distillation, crystallisation, membrane separation, adsorption, absorption, solvent extraction, etc.
  • Manufacture of intermediate chemicals derived from the above basic chemicals by various unit processes like oxidation, hydrogenation, chlorination, nitration, alkylation, dehydrogenation along with various unit operations like distillation, absorption, extraction, adsorption, etc.
  • Manufacture of target chemicals and polymers that may be used in the manufacture of target products and chemicals to meet the consumer needs. It includes plastics, synthetic fibers, synthetic rubber, detergents, explosives, dyes, intermediates, and pesticides.

 

First Generation Intermediates

Hydrogen, Ammonia, Methanol

Olefins and Dienic Hydrocarbons, Ethylene, Propylene, Butadiene, Isoprene, etc.

Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Benzene, Toluene, Xylenes, Styrene, etc.

Second Generation

Intermediates

Introduction of various hetro atoms into final molecule including oxygen, nitrogen, chlorine and sulfur by various unit process Intermediates

Target Product

Plastics, Synthetic fibre, Fertilizers, Solvents, elastomer, Drugs, Dye stuff, Detergent, Explosive, Pesticides.

 
Indian Petrochemical Industry 
 
Petrochemicals are backbone of chemical industry. Although the origin of petrochemical industry in world was in 1920, however, sixties marks the era of petrochemicals in India when Union Carbide set up first ethylene complex with capacity 20,000 TPA in 1963 in Mumbai. It was followed by NOCIL with 60,000 TPA ethylene complexes in 1968 in Thane near Mumbai and PSF plant of Chemical and Fibers India Ltd.(CAFI) at Thane - Belapur road. Indian Petrochemical Corp. Ltd. (IPCL) set up first integrated petrochemical complex in 1970 in public sector at Vadodara. With the modest beginning in 1960 by setting up of 20,000 tonnes naphtha cracked by Union Carbide in Mumbai, Indian petrochemical industry has sustained a high and steady rate of growth during last four decades and has entered the world market.
 
The petrochemical industry has been the fastest growing sectors in India and become a major segment of chemical industry, which is growing faster than industries overall and within chemicals. It has posed serious threat to chemical industry based on natural feedstock – Biomass and Coal. The petrochemical industry is major supplier of chemical inputs to a large and growing number of downstream. The Indian chemical industry ranks twelfth by volume in the world for production of chemicals and accounts for about 14percent in the general index of industrial production and 17.6percent in the manufacturing sector. It accounts for 13-14percent of total exports and 8-9percent of total imports of the country. It contributes about 3 percent to the GDP. It contributes 13percent of the manufacturing industry's value added and 8percent of the total exports of the country.

Basic Petrochemicals  

C1 group         Methane, CO – H2 synthesis, synthesis gas derivatives 
C2 group         Ethane, ethylene, ethylene derivatives, acetylene
C3 group         Propane, propyl ene and propylene derivatives 
C4, C5 group   Butadiene, Butanes, Butenes, Pentane,  Pentene,   Isoprene, Cyclop entadiene
Aromatic         Benzene, Toluene , Xylenes Naphthalene, BTX derivatives 
 
Major End Products 
Polymer, Synthetic fibre, synthetic rubber, synthetic detergent, Chemical intermediate, dyes and intermediates chemical intermediates, pesticides
 
Basic Building Block Process 
 
Petrochemical manufacturing involves building blocks processes for the manufacture of building blocks and intermediates.
 
Cracking: Steam cracking, Catalytic cracking for olefins pyrolysis gasoline by product
 
Steam reforming and Partial oxidation: Synthesis gas
 
Catalytic Reforming: Aromatic production
 
Aromatic conversion processes: Aromatic production
 
Alkylation: Linear alkyl benzene 
 
OXO Process: Oxo-alcohol
 
Polymerisation Process: Polymer, elastomers and synthetic fibre
 
Petrochemicals Feed Stock 
 
One of the major issues, which have directed the worldwide growth of petrochemical industry, has been the availability of feedstock, which has led to replacement of the natural resources coal, molasses, fats, etc. Basic feedstock used in petrochemical industry for manufacture of olefins and aromatics are derived either from natural gas or petroleum fractions and includes natural gas (associated or non-associated), condensate, naphtha, kerosene, catalytic cracking and reformer gases, waxes, pyrolysis gasoline. Natural Gas and Petroleum Fractions as Petrochemicals Feedstock is given in Table M-VII 1.4.  Alternative routes to principal petrochemicals is given in Table M-VII 1.5 . Some of the alternative feed stock choice for petrochemical industry are:
  • Naphtha from methane from natural gas to liquid process
  • Naphtha from coal via direct liquification or indirect liquification by FT process
  • Plastic waste to naphtha and other hydrocarbons through liquefaction, pyrolysis and separation processes ·
  • FT naphtha from biomass 
  • Methanol routes: Synthesis gas from methane, coal and biomass; conversion of synthesis gas to methanol and production of olefin by methnol to olefin technology.
  • Conversion of methanol to dimethyl ether
  • Product recovery and separation Recovery of C4&C5 stream from FCC and steam cracker
  • Oxidative coupling of methane
  • Ethanol from biomass: direct fermentation of sugar rich biomass, hydrolysis of lingocellulosic biomass
  • Gasification of lingo-cellulosic biomass followed by fermentation or chemical catalysis to ethanol.
  • Carbon dioxide to liquid fuel by engineered bacteria
  • Gasification of petrocoke to hydrogen 

 Table M-VII 1.4: Natural Gas and Petroleum Fractions as Petrochemicals Feedstock 

Petroleum Fractions and Natural Gases

Source

Composition

Intermediate

Processes

Intermediate

Feedstock

Refinery

Gases

Distillation,

catalytic

cracking,

catalytic

reforming

Methane, ethane, propane, butane, BP upto 25 oC

Liquefaction,

cracking

LPG, ethylene propylene, butane, butadiene.

Naphtha

Distillation and

thermal & catalytic cracking, visbreaking

C4-C12

hydrocarbon,

BP 70 - 200 oC

Cracking, reforming, alkylation, disproportionation , isomerisation

Ethylene, propylene, butane, butadiene, benzene, toluene, xylene

Kerosene

Distillation and

secondary

conversion

processes

C9-C10

hydrocarbon, BP 175-275 oC

Fractionation to obtain C10-C14 range

hydrocarbon

Linear n C10 - n

C14 alkanes

Gas Oil

Distillation of

crude oil and cracking

C10-C25

hydrocarbons BP 200-400 oC

Cracking

Ethylene,

propylene,

butadiene,

butylenes

Wax

Dewaxing of lubricating oil

C8-C56

hydrocarbon

Cracking

C6-C20 alkanes

Pyrolysis

Gasoline

Ethylene cracker

Aromatic, alkenes, dienes, alkanes, cycloalkane

Hydrogenation

distillation,

extraction,

crystallisation,

adsorption

Aromatics

Natural

Gases & Natural Gas Condensate

Gas fields and crude oil stabilisation

Hydrogen,

methane, ethane, propane, pentane, aromatics

Cracking,

reforming,

separation

Ethylene, propylene, LPG, aromatics, etc.

Petroleum

coke

Crude oil

Carbon

Residue

upgradation

processes,

gasification

Carbonelectrode, acetylene, fuel

 

Table M-VII 1.5: Alternative Routes to Principal Petrochemicals 

 

Chemicals

Petroleum Source

Alternate Source (Europe, except where stated)

Methane

Natural gas

Refinery light gases (demethaniser overheads)

Coal, as byproduct of separation of coke oven gases (1920-30) or of coal hydrogenation (1930-40)

Ammonia

Methane

Light liquid hydrocarbons

From coal via water gas (1910-20)

Methyl alcohol

Methane

Light liquid hydrocarbons

From coal via water-gas (1920-30); from methane (from coal) by methane-stream and methane oxygen processes (1930-40)

Ethylene

Pyrolysis of gaseous liquid hydrocarbons

Dehydration of ethyl alcohol (original route). By-product in fractional distillation of coke oven gas (1925-35). Hydrogenation of acetylene (1940-45)

Acetylene

Ethylene

Calcium carbide (original process). methane from coal by partial combustion and by arc process(1935-45)

Ethylene glycol

Ethylene

From ethylene made as above (1925). In America, from coal via carbon-monoxide and formaldehyde (1935-40)

Ethyl alcohol

Synthetic ethyl alcohol Co-product

Fermentation of molasses (original route)

Acetaldehyde

of paraffin gas oxidation. Direct oxidation of ethylene

Fermentation of ethyl alcohol, or acetylene from carbide (1900-10)

Acetone

Propylene

Wood distillation (original process).

Pyrolysis of acetic acid (1920-30) or by acetylene-stream reaction (1930-40)

Glycerol

Propylene

By-product of soap manufacture (original process)

Butadiene

1- and 2-Butenes

Butane

Synthetic ethyl alcohol By-product of ethylene by pyrolysis of liquid hydrocarbons

Ethyl alcohol (1915); acetaldehyde via 1:3- butanediol (1920-30); acetylene and formaldehyde from coal via 1:4-butanediol (1940-45); from 2:3-Butanediol by fermentation (1940-45)

Aromatic

hydrocarbons

Aromatic-rich and

naphthenic-rich fractions by catalytic reforming and direct extraction or by hydroalkylation

By-products of coal-tar distillation

 
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