Air Products to supply recovery system to Texas polyethylene plant


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, July 17 -- Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., in partnership with Solvay Polymers Inc., selected Air Products & Chemicals Inc. of Lehigh Valley, Pa., to supply a hydrocarbon and nitrogen recovery system for a new polyethylene plant, officials said Tuesday.

That plant is to be built at the Chevron Phillips Chemical Cedar Bayou facility in Baytown, Tex., and is expected to come on stream in late 2002.

Air Products' proprietary technology will be able to recover nearly all of the hydrocarbon off-gas from Chevron Phillips Chemical's slurry phase polyethylene process and more than 97% of the high-purity nitrogen used in degassing that can then be recycled back into processing, officials said.

Air Products claim their system eliminates environmental emissions typically associated with flaring or burning plant off-gases.

Air Products' recovery units utilize partial condensation, in conjunction with the company's proprietary pressure swing adsorption technology, to recover hydrocarbons in polyolefin plants and to recycle nitrogen with purity greater than 99%. In addition, there are zero emissions associated with Air Products' technology, thereby simplifying the plant's permitting requirements, officials said.

Air Products offers polyolefin technology licensors and plant owners pre-engineered, packaged recovery units that simplify and minimize costs associated with installation. A recovery plant project typically achieves simple payback between 1 and 2 years, depending on plant size and the site's values for recovered hydrocarbons, nitrogen and utility costs, claimed Air Products.

Chevron Phillips Chemical and Solvay Polymers will each own 50% of the plant and will share its production of general-purpose blow molding high-density polyethylene resins.

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