Chemicals from Coal

Coal gasification technologies are likely to become the norm, with a strong focus on the production of chemicals from coal. Already there is considerable coal to methanol and ammonia production in the county. There is a strong market for olefins, a long-chain polymer synthetic fiber, from coal and methane due to a shortage of olefin imports. The generation of multiple products is likels to bcome the norm.
Dow Chemical and the Shenhua Group are developing a US $10 billion coal-to-olefins (CTO) in China produding a myriad of products including: 3.32 million tonnes per year methanol plant; 1.22 million tonnes per year methanol-to-olefins (MTO) unit; a 400,000 tonnes per year monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant; 210,000 tonnes per year ethanolamines or ethylenediamines facility; 340,000 tonnes per year polyether polyol unit; 150,000 tonnes per year acrylic acid facility; 200,000 tonnes per year acrylic ester plant; 200,000 chlorinated methanes unit: a 510,000 tonnes per year ethylene dichloride or vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant; and 500,000 tonnes per PVC unit.
Several methane-to-olefin (MTO) and methanol-to-propylene (MTP) are in the pipeline and three were expected to online in 2010:
• Baotou Shenhua: plant with a capacity to convert 2 million tons of coal to olefins; 260,000 tonnes of coal to ethylene and 260,000 tonnes of coal to propylene, all via the methanol route.
• Datang International Power: a methanol-to-propylene (MTP) plant with the capacity to produce 1.7 million tons of methanol and 500,000 tonnes of propylene whichis converted to polypropylene.
• Shenhua Ningmei: plant with a capacity to convert 1.96 million tons of coal to propylene and 260,000 tons of coal to ethylene, all via the methanol route.
Along with Dow, two other international companies, Total Petrochemicals and Celanese, are planning to manufacture chemicals from coal in the country.