The Chinese petrochemical company Sinopec has developed a new process for the direct conversion of crude oil into chemicals. As the trade magazine Process reports, this new “crude oil to chemicals” process, or COTC, is a significant technological breakthrough. Since it can omit various intermediate steps of traditional methods, it significantly simplifies crude oil refining for the chemical industry. According to Process, the new COTC process can produce significantly more ethylene, propylene and light hydrocarbons per barrel of oil than the petrochemical industry’s most advanced interconnected refinery sites. At the same time, energy consumption and emissions can be reduced considerably. According to the magazine, China is thus becoming the global technology leader in the catalytic cracking of crude oil.
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