Linde GmbH and oil/gas firm Shell are collaborating on the ethane-oxidative dehydrogenation (E-ODH) technology for ethylene production. The catalytic process is an alternative route to ethane steam cracking, offering the potential of economic advantages, acetic acid co-production and significantly lower overall carbon footprint through electrification of power input.
The two companies have been developing E-ODH independently for many years and this new collaboration brings together their complementary patent positions, expert know-how and common commitment to a lower-carbon future. The agreement will enable accelerated deployment of this novel technology across the wider chemicals sector, with Linde marketing to customers under the name EDHOX.
“With the EDHOX process, we have not only developed a cost-efficient alternative but are also providing the petrochemical industry with a low-emission process”, said John van der Velden, Senior Vice President Global Sales & Technology at Linde Engineering. “For decades, we have been actively developing technologies for more sustainability in this industry – from efficiency improvements to carbon management and new process routes. We are convinced that Linde´s EDHOX technology position will be strengthened by Shell´s intellectual property and know-how in this area.”
Thomas Casparie, Executive Vice President of Shell’s global chemicals business, said “Base chemicals are transformed into a range of finished products that help society live, work and respond to climate change. We look forward to our Shell in-house innovation going on to contribute to the collective reduction of carbon emissions from the manufacture of chemicals. It’s been great to work with Linde on this ambitious and creative combination of technology.”
Shell and Dow have also teamed up to develop, design and scale-up cracking technology that can use renewable electricity rather than fossil fuels.
The EDHOX technology was successfully validated for commercial use in a demonstration plant at Pullach, Germany. The process is suitable for ethylene producers as well as industrial customers who need both ethylene and acetic acid to produce chemicals such as vinyl acetate monomer, ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer and polyvinyl alcohol products. As a further advantage, the pure CO2 stream extracted is suitable for further downstream processes or storage. The EDHOX process can also be combined with other Linde technologies, such as the FlexASU process for the flexible production of gases or liquefied gases such as oxygen or it can increase the capacity of steam crackers with potential CO2 reduction.