BC Insight - Nitrogen+Syngas, Sulphur, Fertilizer International
Login
BCInsight Ltd
China Works
Black Prince Road
London, SE1 7SJ
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7793 2567
Fax: +44 (0)20 7793 2577

Publication > Issue > Articles

Middle East joint ventures

Summary

In spite of progressive moves towards liberalisation of markets, ownership and shareholdings in the Middle East, joint ventures in the region remain hemmed in by a variety of local rules and regulations.

Abstract

On the face of it, it is a natural match: the Middle East as a region has large supplies of relatively cheap natural gas, while major fertilizer and methanol companies in Europe, India, east Asia and other regions have access to large end-user markets. However, the course of corporate relations between the Arabian Gulf region in particular and the rest of the world has not always been a smooth one. Until quite recently rules on foreign ownership were often complex and foreign companies were not allowed to take majority stakes in companies in the region. Petrochemical industry in the region was dominated by large government-owned and run concerns and foreign participation was often limited to offtake agreements. However, as in many parts of the world, there has been a growing tide of liberalisation.

Rules on foreign ownership and investment however still very much vary across the region, according to each country’s own degree of comfort with the pace of reform. Regional legal systems often have a tangled history, from the relics of Ottoman and western European imperial government to independence and an attempt to balance secular and sacred concerns with the demands of the modern business environment.

Add to basket


Alcohols from syngas

Summary

Methanol from syngas is a well-established process. However, with the continuing interest in ethanol as a fuel, especially in the United States, a great deal of research money is now being poured into producing ethanol and other higher chain alcohols via a syngas step. Nitrogen+Syngas reports.

Abstract

Syngas is an extremely versatile mixture of molecules which can be put to a variety of different uses. At the moment the major use is for production of ammonia, with methanol, hydrogen, power and various coal/gas to liquids uses running some way second. However, in theory it is possible to convert syngas into a wide variety of different compounds. Dimethyl ether (DME) is one which has started to gain currency in recent years, along with propylene, but the possibility of producing higher chain alcohols is also seeing a new lease of life with various companies re­searching routes towards ethanol, butanol and even propanol from syngas.

Add to basket


Ammonia plant analysis

Summary

A project is underway to develop an alternative process route for treatment of process condensate from ammonia plants. A comprehensive analysis and characterisation has been carried out on the process condensate from two ammonia plants in India the older generation, naphtha-based ammonia plant at Zuari Industries, Goa and the new generation, gas-based ammonia plant of Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers, Mumbai. O. Dixit, S. Krishnaswamy and K. N. Ponnani from BITS, Pilani Goa Campus, report on the analytical techniques employed and discuss the results.

Abstract

Ammonia production from various carbon sources includes the following processes:

  • desulphurisation of the feedstock;
  • primary and secondary steam reforming for production of syngas;
  • carbon monoxide high temperature and low temperature shift conversion steps (HTS and LTS);
  • carbon dioxide separation by solvent absorption;
  • methanation;
  • ammonia synthesis.

Add to basket


Methanol plant reliability

Summary

Many factors contribute to the reliability of methanol plant operations. Plant design, catalysts and absorbents, plant control and operator training all influence the stability and performance of operations. IPCOS, Johnson Matthey and Honeywell report on how their technologies and knowhow are improving the reliability of methanol plant operations worldwide.

Abstract

Many factors contribute to the reliability of methanol plant operations. Plant design, catalysts and absorbents, plant control and operator training all influence the stability and performance of operations. IPCOS, Johnson Matthey and Honeywell report on how their technologies and knowhow are improving the reliability of methanol plant operations worldwide.

Add to basket


Future prospects for coal

Summary

In coal-rich nations, coal is increasingly becoming an important feedstock in the production of chemicals. Advanced technologies and catalysts for coal gasification and downstream processes make coal a technically and economically feasible feedstock for a wide range of products. Some of the key technologies and catalysts that are making the return to coal possible are discussed in this article.

Abstract

Before the availability of cheap natural gas, the gasification of solid feedstocks such as coal were used extensively in the syngas industry. However, with the availability of cheap natural gas and the application of steam refoming about four decades ago the economic conditions turned in favour of natural gas-based syngas plants. Now with global reserves of oil and gas diminishing the tables are set to turn again, at least in those countries with an abundance of coal.

Coal is making a comeback, and it has much more to offer than just heat. The world is consuming more oil, while discovering less. In the long-term, biomass-based feedstock will eventually replace oil and gas, but it still has a long way to go. In the short to medium-term, decreasing oil and gas availability and their price volatility are paving the way for coal to reoccupy a very crucial place in history, but this time as an alternative feedstock to produce chemicals and fuel in a growing and changing world.

Add to basket