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Keyvani M.,LyondellBasell | Hamza A.,Imtex Membranes Corporation | Towe G.,Imtex Membranes Corporation
AIChE 2012 - 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting, Conference Proceedings | Year: 2012

Currently, the separation of olefins (ethylene, propylene) from paraffins (ethane, propane) on a commercial scale is accomplished almost exclusively by cryogenic distillation in petrochemical industries and is considered highly energy intensive. Consequently, there is an enormous economic incentive to explore alternative separation technologies with lower energy consumption and an opportunity to achieve related reductions in environmental impact from air pollutant and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Several attempts have been made in the past to develop alternative separation technologies for this application, including significant work on facilitated transport membranes. One of the main unresolved challenges was membrane instability over time. Imtex Membranes Corporation has developed a membrane that has shown performance stability over thousands of hours of operation on both coupons and spiral wound test units. Imtex membranes are based on chitosan, a polysaccharide material, and silver nitrate as a facilitation agent. LyondellBasell and Imtex Membrane Corporation have set up a collaborative effort to evaluate the performance of Imtex membrane in the olefin/paraffin separation, namely C2 and C3 splitter applications. The performance results were very encouraging for C2 and C3 splitters as greater than 99.5% purity and 90% recovery were achieved in both cases. Based on the membrane performance results, we believe that the technology presents potential opportunities in upgrading refinery grade propylene to polymer grade propylene as the membrane was evaluated under operating conditions comparable to those of commercial plants. There is also a promising potential for butene/butane separations where distillation separations require large numbers of trays and extremely high reflux ratios, or are difficult to achieve at all. Applying Imtex membranes in C4 separation can have a very positive impact on the economics of olefin metathesis, an increasingly important source of propylene.

Lang L.,LyondellBasell
AIChE 2013 - 2013 AIChE Spring Meeting and 9th Global Congress on Process Safety, Conference Proceedings | Year: 2013

Unplanned slowdowns, trips or shutdowns account for a significant loss of production in the chemical and petrochemical industry and may lead to environmental events or even serious incidents. Incident investigations indicated that a significant contributor can be the human factor, specifically how board operators handle critical conditions in plant operations. LyondellBasell created a "Human Factors" initiative to address potential contributing issues such as alarm management, Human Machine Interface (HMI) and control loop performance. To raise the level of awareness, a company standard for "High Performance HMI" was developed and existing HMI was converted into Abnormal Situation Management style HMI where information, not data, is the key. To assist in situational awareness and operator effectiveness, a critical condition management initiative was developed that addresses alarm management, control loop performance, and high performance graphics and HMI. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the 2013 AIChE Spring Meeting & 9th Global Congress on Process Safety (San Antonio, TX 4/28-5/2/2013).

Ginzburg A.,Deutsches Kunststoff - Institute | Ginzburg A.,Dutch Polymer Institute | Macko T.,Deutsches Kunststoff - Institute | Macko T.,Dutch Polymer Institute | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2010

Temperature rising elution fractionation hyphenated to size exclusion chromatography (TREF × SEC) is a routine technique to determine the chemical heterogeneity of semicrystalline olefin copolymers. Its applicability is limited to well crystallizing samples. High-temperature two-dimensional liquid chromatography, HT 2D-LC, where the chromatographic separation by HPLC is hyphenated to SEC (HPLC × SEC) holds the promise to separate such materials irrespective of their crystallizability. A model blend consisting of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymers covering a broad range of chemical composition distribution including amorphous and semicrystalline copolymers and a polyethylene standard was separated by HT 2D-LC at 140°C. Both axes of the contour plot, i.e. the compositional axis from the HPLC and the molar mass axis from the SEC separation were calibrated for the first time. Therefore, a new approach to determine the void and dwell volume of the developed HT 2D-LC instrument was applied. The results from the HT 2D-LC separation are compared to those from a cross-fractionation (TREF × SEC) experiment. © 2010.

Ginzburg A.,Deutsches Kunststoff - Institute | MacKo T.,Deutsches Kunststoff - Institute | Dolle V.,LyondellBasell | Brull R.,Deutsches Kunststoff - Institute
European Polymer Journal | Year: 2011

Temperature rising elution fractionation hyphenated to size exclusion chromatography (TREF × SEC) is a routine technique to determine the chemical heterogeneity of semicrystalline olefin copolymers. A serious limitation is its applicability to non crystallizing samples. Comprehensive high temperature two-dimensional liquid chromatography (HT 2D-LC) gives an alternative to characterize the chemical heterogeneity of copolymers irrespective of their crystallizability. We have hyphenated interactive HPLC, which separates polyolefins according to their chemical composition, with high-temperature size exclusion chromatography (SEC), which distinguishes polyolefins with regard to their molar mass at 160 °C. The first separation step was based on a selective adsorption of macromolecules on a Hypercarb® column packed with porous graphite particles and subsequent desorption by a gradient 1-decanol → 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene at 160 °C. The SEC column was calibrated with polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) standards and it turned out that the injection solvent from the first dimension influenced the elution of PP in the SEC column, while the retention of PE was virtually constant. HT 2D-LC was then used to separate a broad variety of polyolefin blends containing PE, PP with different microstructure, ethylene-propylene (EP) and ethylene-propylene-diene (EP(D)M) rubber and ethylene/1-hexene copolymers. For the first time it has been shown that the elution of iPP in the gradient HPLC is molar mass dependent. The results from the HT 2D-LC separation were compared to those from TREF × SEC-experiments. The particular advantage of HT 2D-LC over TREF × SEC is the fact that HT 2D-LC is also applicable to non crystallizing polyolefin samples. The new technique therefore resolves the problem to analyze the chemical heterogeneity of non crystallizing olefin copolymers like EP and EP(D)M copolymers. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Dolle V.,LyondellBasell | Albrecht A.,German Institute for Polymers DKI | Brull R.,German Institute for Polymers DKI | MacKo T.,German Institute for Polymers DKI
Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2011

It is demonstrated that copolymers of ethylene with higher 1-olefins can be separated using bare silica gel as the stationary phase and a gradient of ethylene glycol monobutyl ether and 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene as the mobile phase at 160°C. The separation of ethylene 1-hexene copolymers according to their composition is confirmed by linking the chromatographic separation to infrared spectroscopy. Using well-characterised model fractions from temperature rising elution fractionation or solvent/non-solvent fractionation ("Holtrup") , it can be shown that both the content and type of the comonomer mainly govern the elution in two peaks which differ in their comonomer content. The molar mass only plays a subordinate rule. Interactive chromatography using a selective solvent allows the separation of linear low-density polyethylenes with respect to their chemical composition. The entire separation scheme is complex and influenced by the chemical composition, the molar mass and the microstructure of the sample. © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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