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Total inaugurates MTO demonstration unit  

By Gerald Ondrey |

At its petrochemicals complex in Feluy, Belgium, Total S.A. (Paris; www.total.com) today inaugurated a demonstration plant intended to produce olefins and polyolefins from methanol. The integrated unit is the world’s first application of an innovative technology that helps to diversify the source of plastic feedstock. The inauguration was attended by Jean-Claude Marcourt, minister for economy, employment and foreign trade for the Belgian region of Wallonia, François Cornélis, vice chairman of the executive committee and president of chemicals at Total, and Jean-François Minster, senior vice president, scientific development, Total. Worldwide, the petrochemicals industry currently relies on oil and natural gas derivatives, naphtha or ethane, to produce olefins. These are subsequently converted into polyolefins, the raw material for plastics. The pilot plant at Feluy was designed to assess, on a quasi-industrial scale, the technical feasibility and cost effectiveness of two integrated processes that produce olefins and subsequently polyolefins from methanol, which can be obtained from natural gas, coal or biomass. First, the UOP/Hydro methanol-to-olefins (MTO) process converts methanol into light olefins (ethylene…
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