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Siluria Technologies launches pilot gas-to-ethylene plant

02nd April 2015

Siluria Technologies announces successful start-up of world’s first demonstration plant to directly convert natural gas to ethylene

Siluria Technologies announces successful start-up of world’s first demonstration plant to directly convert natural gas to ethylene
Siluria’s OCM technology is the first commercially viable process to directly convert natural gas to ethylene, a key building block for the global petrochemicals industry and a new basis from which to produce transportation fuels

Siluria held a grand opening event announcing the successful start-up of its demonstration plant located in La Porte, Texas.

The plant is wholly owned by Siluria, and co-located at a plant operated by Braskem America, Inc. This milestone marks the world’s first large-scale production of ethylene directly from natural gas through Oxidative Coupling of Methane (OCM).

The demonstration plant is the final scale-up of the OCM process technology and paves the way for Siluria to deploy commercial-scale plants in the 2017/2018 timeframe.

Siluria’s OCM technology is the first commercially viable process to directly convert natural gas to ethylene, a key building block for the global petrochemicals industry and a new basis from which to produce transportation fuels. The company’s breakthrough innovations enable natural gas to supplement petroleum as the world-wide basis for commodity fuels, chemicals and plastics.

“Today marks the culmination of years of effort by our remarkable scientific and engineering teams. This revolutionary breakthrough has the potential to shift the foundation of the hydrocarbon economy by using abundant natural gas, to produce high-value chemicals and fuels,” said Ed Dineen, Siluria’s CEO. “We are well positioned with our commercial and engineering partners to now move quickly to full commercialisation of our proprietary technologies.”

The conversion of methane to ethylene using OCM has been a sought-after goal of the chemical industry for more than 30 years because of its promise to add value to natural gas resources and reduce the costs of chemical, plastics and fuels production. Siluria’s highly efficient catalytic process is more scalable, more environmentally friendly and more cost-effective in many settings than current methods of production.

Siluria was the first company to achieve sustained OCM reactions at a pilot stage and has now proven the commercial viability of the technology through the demonstration-scale OCM plant built and successfully operated by Siluria. This breakthrough was achieved using a combination of new innovations in catalyst development, advances in catalyst screening, and a highly motived, creative research and engineering team. Siluria has also built foundational partnerships with industry leading engineering firms to both validate and commercialize its technology in specific projects within the ethylene, gas processing and oil refining industries. Siluria has previously announced its partnership with The Linde Group to offer licenses to the ethylene industry worldwide.

“This demo plant was brought in on time, under budget, and safely and successfully started up last December,” said Dineen. “The initial campaigns have already replicated our pilot scale performance.”

Siluria has developed a second process package for converting ethylene to liquids (ETL) to produce tailored products such as gasoline and other high-value hydrocarbon liquids. Siluria has been using the ETL technology to produce gasoline at its pilot facility in Hayward, Calif., since November 2013. The combination of Siluria’s OCM and ETL technologies provide an entirely new platform for energy companies to add significant value uplift to their lowest value products (methane and ethane).

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