Lummus Launches Net-Zero Ethane Cracker

26.07.2022 - Lummus Technology has launched what it terms “a major enhancement” to its technology that allows ethane-based steam crackers to achieve zero CO2 emissions.

The cracker technology, said Lummus, is the industry’s first and is now available for commercial use to decarbonize a process in petrochemical manufacturing that is very carbon-intensive. It can be incorporated into both new and existing ethane crackers, including at sites and facilities of differing sizes.

“Ethylene producers are looking for solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of their investments, and this new net zero ethane cracker will help them achieve their decarbonization goals,” said president and CEO Leon de Bruyn. “By launching the world’s first CO2-free ethane cracker, we are leveraging Lummus’ innovative culture and proven ability to commercialize technologies to play a critical role in the energy transition.”  

The combustion of methane or other carbon-based fuels can be eliminated through innovations to the cracking heater design, resulting in significant reductions in the fuel firing demand, enhancements in the recovery section and a partial switch from steam turbine to electric drivers on the major compressors.  

Lummus said its proprietary ethane-feed steam cracking process is the most widely applied for producing polymer-grade ethylene and polymer-grade propylene. 

In separate news, the company announced it has won a contract from Numaligarh Refinery to provide its Novolen PP process for a 360,000 t/y plant to be installed in Golaghat, Assam in India. Lummus’ scope includes the technology license, basic design engineering, training, technical services and catalyst supply.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist