Title : Advancements in the process and catalyst developments for Ethylene Oxide and Ethylene Glycol: Current and future prospects
SABIC is the world largest MEG producer in the petrochemical sector. Ethylene oxide (EO) is a simplest form of epoxides and due to its molecular structure, it acts as a versatile intermediate for a variety of chemicals such as; monoethylene glycol (MEG), di- and triethylene glycols, ethoxylates, ethanol amines, and glycol ethers. The growing demand of MEG owing to its downstream utilization in polyester industry has prompted the research of an efficient, cost effective, and environmentally benign EO production process.
Currently, most of the World’s MEG is being produced through conventional route; however, there is an increasing trend to exploit new routes, and feed stocks such as coal, bio-based, and Shale gas. The production capacity of MEG is expected to increase to 36 million tons by 2024. The heavy dependence of MEG producers on ethylene and its scarcity in some parts of the world promoted the need of alternate feedstock. The technological (process and catalyst) as well as commercial aspects will be discussed along with the future growth of EO/EG business.