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Technology Profile: Ethylene Glycol Production from Synthesis Gas

By Intratec Solutions |

This column is based on “Ethylene glycol production from Syngas – Cost Analysis,” a report published by Intratec. It can be found at: www.intratec.us/analysis/ethylene-glycol-production-cost.  Ethylene glycol, also known as monoethylene glycol (MEG), is a major chemical commodity, widely used in the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle-grade resins and polyester fibers. These materials, in turn, are used to manufacture textiles, soft drink and water bottles, tire cords and more. MEG was first synthesized via the hydrolysis of ethylene glycol diacetate. Now, it can be made from multiple raw materials, such as coal, natural gas and ethylene. Globally, it is mainly produced from ethylene via an ethylene oxide intermediate. This process generates di- and tri-ethylene glycol along with MEG. The process In the process described here, ethylene glycol is produced from synthesis gas (syngas), a gaseous mixture of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2). CO is first converted to dimethyl oxalate (DMO), which is then hydrogenated to form ethylene glycol (Figure 1). Carbonylation. The CO and H2 in the feed syngas are separated. The recovered CO is fed to the carbonylation reactors along with a recycled stream…
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