380 Shell and Union Carbide Polypropylene
A catalyst advance from Shell Chemical Co. and Union Carbide Corporation's Uni-' pol technology have been combined in the development of a gas-phase fluidised-bed process suitable for polypropylene production. The process is said to cut energy consumption by three quarters and overall production costs by about one third and it can be retrofitted to almost any existing polymer plant for about 40% of the cost of the new plant. Flexible operation to produce polyethylene or polypropylene is possible. (See Oil and Gas:'J.,- Nov. 21 (1983)p.41‘and Chem. Eng. Nov. 28 (1983) 17.)
It is reported in Chemical Engineering (Dec. 12 (1983) p.19) that Union Carbide have "hinted at" a new catalyst for motorfuel production from syngas, based on supported molecular sieves. The new catalyst is claimed to produce hydrocarbon liquids with better than 70% selectivity. The development occurred during the latter stages of an exploratory research programme sponsored by the US Department of Energy. The catalyst is claimed to control the boiling range of the product liquids such that gasoline and diesel cuts are increased and lower quantities of highermolecular weight products are formed. Further research will be necessary if commercial formulations are to be developed. French Coal-Gasification
The French government has approved (see Chem. Eng., Dec. 12 (1983) p.19) the construction of a pilot-plant based on the U-Gas process purchased from the Institute of Gas Technology (Chicago); the plant is to be built at the Mazingarbe research facility of Charbonnage de France (CdF). The project by Gas de France (GdF) based on Lurgi and Texaco technology has been abandoned. The U-Gas process has been chosen because of its ability to work on low-grade coals, as opposed to the Lurgi-Texaco technology which would have required the importation of foreign coals. The new pilot-plant should be ready by early 1986. It'is suggested that the _ methane produced (about 200 metric tons per day)'might be‘used in ammonia synthesis.
9 No. 3 -
and SD2 Removal
News of two new processes may be of interest to those working in the area of fuel- and flue-gas cleanup. The first involves a liquid-phase Claus Process (2H2S + SO2 + 3s + 2H20) operating at ambient temperature in an aqueous medium. The feed-gas, containing between 2Q and 100% H S from gas sweetening is partially combus zed to give the correct stoichiometry of SO and the mixture is reacted in solution o P a phosphate-buffer. A unit to treat 4 million cubic feet per day has iust been commissioned by Heflin Oil Co. ;n Queen City, Texas. The second process, developed by Walther & Cie (Cologne); involves injection of ammonia into a fluegas stream followed by water scrubbing. The resulting ammonium sulphite is oxidised to ammonium sulphate, dried and pelletted. One unit has been started at Grosskraftwerk Mannheim and a second is to be installed at a power plant in Karlsruhe, 11. Germany. (See Chem. Eng. Dec. 26 (1983) p.10).
A paper in the 1983 International Gas Research Conference (13-16 June, London) by J. Happel , M.A. Hnatow, L. Bajars, of Catalvsis Research Cornoration. USA. and A.L. tee, of the Institute of Gas Technology, USA, describes the use of transitionelementoxysulphide catalysts for the methanation of sulphur-containing synthesis gas with low H2/C0 ratios, such as encountered as the product from coal qasification. The catalysts were made according to an IGT Patent (J. Happel and M.A. Hnatow, U.S. Patent 4, 320, 030) by a method which involves preparation ' of an intimate mixture of one or more compounds of MO, V or W (eg (NH&MO7 4H 0) in a melt of ammonium thiocyaheating in a non-oxidising if?;-tiiourea atmosphere at'temperatures sufficient in order to evolve gases and to convert the melt to a solid mass, calcination in an inert atmosphere and passivation with a dilute oxygen stream. The catalyst can be operated under conditions in which carbon would be deposited on nickel catalysts and is claimed to be completely insensitive to poisoning by sulphur compounds. The activities found, however, would seem to be rather low compared with those of conventional nickel catalysts.