GE showcases innovative ethylene solution
Abu Dhabi, October 17, 2011
GE, an advanced technology, services and finance company, is showcasing its latest breakthrough in ethylene technology at the Middle East Chemical Week in Abu Dhabi.
The advanced integrated solution, being showcased the event which opened yesterday, is designed to improve profitability, uptime and quality for ethylene producers. The show will run till October 19.
Ethylene is the building block of nearly all plastic items we use every day. It is produced through a thermal cracking reaction that essentially consists of bringing the feedstock—most commonly ethane and naphtha—to a high temperature so that the molecules are broken down and rearranged, thus forming ethylene as well as several other by-products, said a statement.
Ethylene producers are at the heart of the Middle East petrochemical industry, which is set to expand rapidly in support of the region’s economic diversification objectives. The innovative GE solution is aimed at supporting the industry achieve greater efficiency while lowering operating costs, which would support ethylene producers achieve their business goals.
In a typically sized ethylene production plant, each 1 percent efficiency gain can save between $300,000 and $500,000 per year or more, depending on local energy costs, the statement said.
GE’s solution involves a sense-diagnose-remediate system which tracks the build-up of fouling deposits on charge gas compressors in ethylene manufacturing lines, deposits that can greatly reduce manufacturing efficiency or force unplanned shutdown of the plant production if left to grow unchecked.
The system will be installed for demonstration in Poland at PKN Orlen, one of the world’s leading ethylene manufacturers, until the end of 2012, after which GE plans to commercialise the system throughout the industry, it said.
The new technology, developed at the GE Global Research Center, uses advanced fiber optic sensor technology integrated with machine monitoring and diagnostics technology, enabling plant managers to operate the unit more smoothly and for a longer time even in the presence of wide fluctuations in production requirements. In addition, this solution enables higher flexibility in feedstock selection—a common requirement in today’s unstable feedstock market.
“Making ethylene with high efficiency and low energy consumption isn’t easy,” said Edmond J. Boufarah, global general manager, GE Petrochemicals Solutions. “We knew that if we could find a way to improve the efficiency of the manufacturing operation, we could bring tangible benefits to our customers, by enabling them to be more competitive. So we assembled a team of engineering, petrochemical and process experts from across GE to make it happen. ” - TradeArabia News Service