The steam cracking process currently used for ethylene production is highly endothermic and relies on methane combustion to satisfy its large energy demand. The cost of burning methane and the related CO2 emission has been a concern for the operations. Consequently, oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) of ethane, an exothermic or mild endothermic reaction using oxidizing agent, has been widely investigated as an alternative to steam cracking. This book investigated the chemistry of ODH of ethane to ethylene with sulfur as oxidant, demonstrating that sulfur species generated either from liquid sulfur or formed in-situ by H2S/O2 reaction were able to selectively convert ethane to ethylene. Specifically, a single pass ethylene yield of 76% with the selectivity of 89% was obtained in the ethane - sulfur reaction at conditions comparable to steam cracking. This research presents interesting possibility of producing ethylene at a lower energy cost by using sulfur and the waste heat from the Claus process, and should be especially useful for professionals working on olefin production, oxidative dehydrogenation or oxidative coupling of hydrocarbons.
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PhD: studied chemistry at University of Calgary after spending nearly 10 years in oil industry managing chemical operations. Currently the Program Director of Upgrading at Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI), Alberta, Canada.
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