BASF and Lutianhua Partner on DME
BASF and China’s Sichuan Lutianhua Co. have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to co-develop a pilot plant to produce dimethyl ether (DME) from syngas with significantly reduced carbon emissions and enhanced efficiency compared to the traditional process.
Under the terms of the MoU, Lutianhua will invest and build the plant using technology developed during the past few years by both BASF and Linde. BASF will supply the high-performance catalyst systems that enable one-step conversion of syngas to DME, while Linde will provide its newly developed process design and engineering for direct DME synthesis. Plans are to build the plant in 2020.
BASF said the cooperation has been facilitated by the newly established Open Innovation Platform of China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF). “The open innovation platform is designated to promote cooperation among industry leaders for technological breakthroughs and industrial transformation,” explained CPCIF’s chairman Li Shousheng.
DME is a methanol equivalent and can be used as an intermediate to produce lower olefins such as ethylene and propylene. Currently, DME is produced via methanol as an intermediate from syngas.