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Celanese to accelerate production of ethanol from hydrocarbon feedstocks in China to mid-2013; opening new ethanol technology R&D facilities in the US

Celanese Corporation will accelerate its original schedule and now expects to begin industrial ethanol production in China earlier than previously announced. Celanese’s process technology builds on the company’s acetyl platform and integrates new technologies to produce ethanol using basic hydrocarbon feedstocks. (Earlier post.)

In addition to the company’s previously announced plans for one, and possibly two, greenfield units, the company plans to modify and enhance its existing integrated acetyl facility at the Nanjing Chemical Industrial Park with its TCX advanced technology. The modifications would add approximately 200,000 tons of ethanol production capacity by mid-2013, pending approvals, and would accelerate the project six to twelve months from its previous plan.

The new ethanol production would increase the overall profitability of the site by enhancing the mix of products manufactured with the current capacity of certain critical raw materials available at the site. Total investment for the project is expected to be a fraction of the required capital for a greenfield facility.

This project acceleration allows us to begin industrial ethanol production significantly earlier than previously anticipated to capture demand growth in China and create value for our shareholders.

—David Weidman, chairman and CEO

The company also announced it has broken ground on the previously announced technology development unit for ethanol production at its facility in Clear Lake, Texas, which is now expected to be operational by mid-2012. The company also intends to construct a new research and development facility at the Clear Lake site to continue the advancement of its acetyl and TCX technologies.

Comments

Henry Gibson

Ethanol is the same fuel even if it is made from hydrocarbon feedstocks. There are very few hydrocarbons on earth that did not come from plant material. The direct production of ethanol from hydrocarbons is refreshingly honest rather than pretending that all of the hydrocarbons that go into producing corn ethanol do not exist.

Just growing large permanent trees where ever nature will allow them to grow without the intervention of humans and using chemical ethanol to replace corn ethanol will reduce total CO2 releases. Many of the readers of this site are capable of doing this calculation from US government site information. There are destroyed forest areas in the US and in Alaska and in Canada and in many other parts of the world that could be devoted again to large tree growth in compensation for the elimination of the production of ethanol from corn whilst using coal to produce ethanol or other fuels instead.

Much energy can be recovered or saved in the synthesis gas production process by feeding CO2 into the process where temperatures are higher than necessary. This idea was implemented by Torsten Källe in his charcoal gasification system for automobiles when he fed part of the exhaust gas back into the charcoal retort to prevent it from getting hotter. In this process excess heat, CO2 and carbon was converted to fuel CO instead of trying to cool the retort only.

The pebble bed nuclear reactor demonstrated by and being perfected by the Chinese after being invented elsewhere can heat Carbon dioxide (CO2) and the Carbon from coal Coke to high enough temperatures to allow this conversion of heat, carbon and carbon dioxide to fuel carbon monoxide (CO). This nuclear heat can also be use to produce coke and by products from coal to also save on CO2 release. The nuclear heat can also be used to heat water to very high temperature steam which can produce CO and hydrogen from carbon which can be used to make liquid fuel or natural gas (methane) or ethanol. ..HG..

Herm

Yeah, it would be nice if they could make that pebble bed reactor work economically.. a source of high heat would be very useful at a refinery.

SJC

Combining heat sources with needs would save energy. The rejected heat from a power plant could be used to distill at an ethanol plant. We waste due to our lack of cooperation.

Reel$$

China needs alcohol fuels. And any other non-toxic fuel they can make. Presently 1 million air pollution related deaths occur each year in China. They would do well to develop nuclear over coal.

SJC

There are more than 10 nuclear power plants planned in China for the near future. I don't really want more long term lethal waste and wish they would go with thorium, but that is the case.

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