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Technology promises energy savings in manufacturing olefins

An agency of the Canadian government established to promote clean technologies is contributing $1.45 million to fu...


An agency of the Canadian government established to promote clean technologies is contributing $1.45 million to fund a pilot project for manufacturing olefins. Olefins are the single largest group of industrial petrochemicals worldwide and are ultimately used to make products such as plastics, lubricants and antifreeze.
Olefins are produced by hydrocarbon steam cracking, which is the most energy-intensive process in the chemical industry. The olefin industry’s energy costs wordwide are estimated at $10 billion a year.
A consortium led by Quantiam Technologies of Edmonton is developing catalytic coatings for the furnace coils used in the steam cracking which would allow for the process to be done at lower temperatures. It’s estimated the new technology could reduce energy manufcturing costs by 20% and reduce greenhouse gases wordwide by 40 million tonnes.
Funding from the Canadian government is coming from the Sustainable Development Technology Canada, an arm’s length foundation created by the federal government that operates a $550-million fund to support the development of clean technologies that address climate change, clean air, water quality and soil (see www.sdtc.ca)
Nova Chemicals is also investing in the technology and a pilot plant.