On Thursday December 22, the signing ceremony on the cooperative research and development agreement of "direct, nonoxidative conversion of methane to olefin and aromatics” was held in Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP), Dalian.
The joint research and development project was established by DICP of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).
On behalf of the three parties, Prof. YANG Xueming, deputy director of DICP, Ms. WANG Xinge, General Manager of China Huanqiu Contracting & Engineering Corporation (a subsidiary of CNPC) and Dr. Atiah S. Al-Ghamdi, director of catalyst technology of SABIC signed on the cooperative research agreement.
Signing Ceremony on the Collaboration Research Agreement of "Direct, Nonoxidative Conversion of Methane to Olefin and Aromatics" (Image by LIU Wansheng)
The joint project was developed on the basis of the process of the direct and nonoxidative conversion of methane to olefin and aromatics, invented by the team led by Prof. BAO Xinhe.
By activating methane under anaerobic conditions and converting methane directly to olefins, aromatics and hydrogen, the process holds advantages over the conventional processes for natural gas conversion, which usually requires high energy consumption and produces high emission.
In addition to shortening the reaction route, the process developed by Prof. BAO’s team also does not emit carbon dioxide within the process and the carbon atom efficiency could reach approximately 100%.
The process was first reported in the journal, Science, in May 2014, and has since been studied systematically, with a focus on both fundamental scientific questions of the process and the development for industrial technology.
A series of breakthroughs have been made in improving the stability of the catalyst, methods for catalyst preparation and the design of new reactor. In March 2016, CNPC, SABIC and DICP have signed a memorandum of cooperation on the development of the process.
This official cooperative research and development agreement signed today marks the project has entered the stage for substantive cooperation. The tripartite cooperation could potentially accelerate the industrialization of the technology and thus make contribution to reform the petrochemical industry in China and even the world.
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