Sinopec successfully industrializes crude oil steam-cracking technology, China's first
Published: Nov 18, 2021 10:46 AM
The crude oil steam-cracking facility of Sinopec  Photo: Courtesy of Sinopec

The crude oil steam-cracking facility of Sinopec Photo: Courtesy of Sinopec

China's major energy enterprise Sinopec has successfully industrialized crude oil steam-cracking technology which can turn crude oil directly into different chemicals such as ethylene and propylene, Sinopec told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The breakthrough that the process has been industrialized in China has important implications for the development of the country's petrochemical sector and achieving carbon emission reduction goals. 

Every one million tons of crude oil can generate nearly 500,000 chemicals including nearly 400,000 tons of high-value products including ethylene, propylene, light aromatic and hydrogen. Only Sinopec and US energy company Exxon Mobil Corporation have industrialized the crude oil steam-cracking technology at present. 

As basic materials in chemical engineering, only about 30 percent of crude oil can be used to produce chemicals including ethylene and propylene using traditional processing technology. Sinopec's crude oil steam-cracking technology has increased the output to 50 percent by now and the company is targeting to make the rate surpass 70 percent in future. 

Sinopec's new technology can be compared to making bread directly from wheat, cutting off the processes of making flour, which can reduce the overall use of energy, time, and carbon emissions. 

Wang Zizong, a deputy chief engineer of Sinopec, said the company next will deploy the processing factory in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, pioneering the transformation of China's petrochemical industry.

Global Times