Steam crackers are large, complex units at the heart of petrochemical complexes. They produce the important building blocks ethylene, propylene, butadiene, and aromatics from gaseous or liquid hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbon feedstocks are cracked at temperatures between 1470°F and 1580°F (800°C and 860°C). The resulting gas is separated into valuable products according to the specifications for downstream processes. Linde Engineering is one of the few contractors that can deliver the technology, engineering, procurement and construction (T-EPC) services for ethylene plants.
Linde’s proprietary PyroCrack technology can handle the full spectrum of feedstocks – from light hydrocarbons (ethane, propane and butane) through naphtha up to heavy liquid feedstocks such as gas oils and hydrocracker residues. This outstanding feed flexibility is used in the design of "mixed-feed crackers", capable of processing several feed types simultaneously.
Linde provides the latest advances in furnace design that can be tailored to meet customer needs. Our exclusive short-residence-time coil designs achieve maximum olefin yields and excellent furnace run lengths.
- Highest furnace capacities set the benchmark regarding capital and operational expenditure for cracking furnaces.
- High-performance furnaces to meet all possible firing concepts, ensuring low pressure loss, highest selectivity, and minimum maintenance.
- Safety is one of our highest priorities and our systems are designed to comply with most recent safety standards (e.g. EN 746-2, NFPA).
- Proven design for high energy and emission efficiency
The separation train of a cracker starts with the hot section where the cracked gas is quenched and cooled. Heavy fractions are condensed and separated. Then the process steam is condensed and removed from the cracked gas before it enters the compression section. The compressed, cracked gas is then separated into specified products. Some fractions (e.g. ethane, propane and butane) are recycled to the furnaces in order to improve overall yields.
The following licensed technologies are just some of the typical processes that can be integrated with Linde's ethylene technology:
- Selective or full C3 and C4 hydrogenation
- One or two stage gasoline hydrogenation
- Butadiene extraction
- Aromatics extraction
- CO methanation