SABIC Unit Plans World’s Largest CO2 Purification Plant » Gulf Business

This won't be a necessarily brief dispatch; but, one sadly short on details, since all we have to go on at the moment are condensed news releases from the corporations involved, as those news releases have been regurgitated through various business media outlets with interests in the Middle East and Arabian-area petrochemicals industry.

First, we remind you that Saudi Arabia, with whom, them being the crown jewel of OPEC and all, we presume most of our readers to be familiar, as seen for one example in our report of:

West Virginia Coal Association | Saudi Arabia and Texas CO2 to Hydrocarbon Syngas | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 8,288,446 - Catalytic Hydrogenation of CO2 into Syngas Mixture; 2012; Inventors: Agaddin Mamedov, Texas, and Abdulaziz Al-Jodai, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Assignee: Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, Riyadh; Abstract: The invention relates to a process of making a syngas mixture containing hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, comprising a step of contacting a gaseous feed mixture containing carbon dioxide and hydrogen with a catalyst, wherein the catalyst substantially consists of chromia/alumina. This process enables hydrogenation of carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide with high selectivity, and good catalyst stability over time and under variations in processing conditions. The process can be applied separately, but can also be combined with other processes, for example up-stream with other synthesis processes for making products like aliphatic oxygenates, olefins or aromatics";

have developed the technology to convert, to recycle, Carbon Dioxide, as reclaimed from whatever convenient source, into a number of valuable products.

Again to keep it as concise as possible, concerning only the "oxygenates" made from CO2, such would include, as seen in:

Oxygenate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia;

Methanol, Ethanol, and what is referred to as "Gasoline-grade" Butanol, all of which, as seen for just a few example in:

West Virginia Coal Association | California July 2012 Efficient CO2 to Methanol | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent 8,212,088 - Efficient and Selective Chemical Recycling of Carbon Dioxide to Methanol, Dimethyl Ether and Derived Products; 2012; Inventors: George Olah and G.K. Surya Prakash; Assignee: University of Southern California; Abstract: An efficient and environmentally beneficial method of recycling and producing methanol from varied sources of carbon dioxide including flue gases of fossil fuel burning powerplants, industrial exhaust gases or the atmosphere itself. Converting carbon dioxide by chemical or electrochemical reduction seconardy treatment to produce essentially methanol, dimethyl ether and derived products"; and:

West Virginia Coal Association | New Jersey CO2 to High-Energy Alcohol | Research & Development

"United States Patent Application 20120132538 - Electrochemical Production of Butanol from Carbon Dioxide and Water; 2012; Inventors: Emily Barton Cole, Andrew Bocarsly, et. al.; (Presumed eventual Assignee: Liquid Light, NJ) Abstract: Methods and systems for electrochemical production of butanol are disclosed. A method may include, but is not limited to, steps (A) to (D). Step (A) may introduce water to a first compartment of an electrochemical cell. The first compartment may include an anode. Step (B) may introduce carbon dioxide to a second compartment of the electrochemical cell. The second compartment may include a solution of an electrolyte, a catalyst, and a cathode. Step (C) may apply an electrical potential between the anode and the cathode in the electrochemical cell sufficient for the cathode to reduce the carbon dioxide to a product mixture. Step (D) may separate butanol from the product mixture";

we know, or should know, how to make, one way and another, from Carbon Dioxide.

There are additional Saudi Arabian technologies, related to the above-cited  "US Patent 8,288,446 - Catalytic Hydrogenation of CO2 into Syngas Mixture; 2012; Inventors: Agaddin Mamedov, Texas, and Abdulaziz Al-Jodai, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Assignee: Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, Riyadh", for the productive and profitable recycling of Carbon Dioxide, some of which we have already reported to you, and others of which we will eventually get to.

In one of our prior reports, we did explain who the Assignee of Rights to "US Patent 8,288,446", Saudi Basic Industries Corporation", also known by their acronym, "SABIC", were. But, to recap:

SABIC - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; "SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) ... is a diversified manufacturing company, active in chemicals and intermediates, industrial polymers, fertilizers and metals. It is the largest public company in Saudi Arabia ... , but the Saudi government still owns 70% of its shares. Private sector shareholders are from Saudi Arabia and other countries of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). SABIC is the largest company in the Middle East. SABIC is currently the second largest global ethylene glycol producer and is expected to become number one after the introduction of these new projects. SABIC is the third largest polyethylene manufacturer, the fourth largest polyolefins manufacturer and the fourth largest polypropylene manufacturer. SABIC is also the world’s largest producer of mono-ethylene glycol, MTBE, granular urea, polyphenylene and polyether imide".

Note that in the above excerpt we highlighted "ethylene glycol" and "new projects". The production of ethylene glycol from petrochemical feedstock entails the co-production of a lot of Carbon Dioxide. And, as we hinted at in an aside in our recent report of:

West Virginia Coal Association | Islamabad Converts CO2 into Methanol and Hydrocarbons | Research & Development; concerning: "United States Patent Application 20080287555 - Novel Process and Catalyst for Carbon Dioxide Conversion to Energy Generating Products; 2008; Assignee: Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad (Pakistan); Abstract: A catalytic process and a nano material for the conversion of moist carbon dioxide into methanol, propyne and oxygen";

guess what SABIC plans to do with the Carbon Dioxide co-produced by those "new projects"?

Excerpts from the initial link in this dispatch provide the answer if you're too locked into Stone Age Cap and Trade thinking to hazard a guess:

"'SABIC Unit Plans World’s Largest CO2 Purification Plant'; United Jubail Petrochemical Company, an affiliate of Saudi’s SABIC, has awarded a construction contract for the plant to Germany’s Linde Group. By Aarti Nagraj, August 21, 2013; An affiliate of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) announced that it has awarded a construction contract to build the world’s largest carbon dioxide (CO2) purification and liquefaction plant in the Kingdom. United Jubail Petrochemical Company (United), a manufacturing unit of SABIC, has given the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the project to Germany’s The Linde Group, it said in a statement. ... The plant will be designed to compress and purify about 1,500 tons per day of raw carbon dioxide coming from ethylene glycol plants. The purified gaseous CO2 will then be supplied through pipes to three SABIC-affiliated companies for enhanced methanol and urea production, the statement said. Methanol is a basic commodity for the chemical industry, and urea is used for fertilizer production. The plant will help save an estimated 500,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year, SABIC stated. Yousef Al-Zamel, SABIC executive vice president, Chemicals Strategic Business Unit, said: “It will add to SABIC’s business portfolio of industrial gas products. This is the first of many other similar projects to be executed next year”. 

We'll be addressing the production of the above "urea" from Carbon Dioxide in future reports; it can be used for quite a lot more than just "fertilizer production", as valuable as that in and of itself might be.

But, to remind you of the significance of "methanol", especially as synthesized from Carbon Dioxide, see for one example our report of:

West Virginia Coal Association | ExxonMobil Coal to Methanol to Gasoline | Research & Development; concerning both: "United States Patent 4,348,486 - Production of Methanol via Catalytic Coal Gasification; Exxon Research and Engineering Company; Abstract: Methanol is produced by gasifying a carbonaceous feed material with steam ... wherein said carbonaceous feed material comprises coal"; and: "United States Patent 4,035,430 - Conversion of Methanol to Gasoline; Mobil Oil Corporation; Abstract: The conversion of methanol to gasoline";

wherein it's explained that, no matter which of our precious natural resources, whether Coal or Carbon Dioxide, we make it from, Methanol can be efficiently and directly converted into the stuff that we, here in the USA, are already paying Saudi Arabia far too much of our national treasure, our hard-earned dollars, for.

More about the Saudi Arabian and Germany's Linde Group plans can be learned via:

Sabic picks Linde to build key Saudi plant for CO2 purification, liquefaction | Hydrocarbon Processing | August 2013; "'Sabic picks Linde to build key Saudi plant for CO2 purification, liquefaction'; 08/22/2013; The plant will be designed to compress and purify around 1,500 tpd of raw carbon dioxide coming from two nearby ethylene glycol plants. The purified gaseous CO2 will be pipelined through the piping corridor to three SABIC-affiliated companies for enhanced methanol and urea production. The Linde Group was awarded a contract to build the world’s largest carbon dioxide (CO2) purification and liquefaction plant for Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), the companies said on Thursday. The plant will be located at Jubail Industrial City in Saudi Arabia. The plant will be designed to compress and purify around 1,500 tpd of raw carbon dioxide coming from two nearby ethylene glycol plants. The purified gaseous CO2 will be pipelined through the piping corridor of the Royal Commission of Jubail to three SABIC-affiliated companies for enhanced methanol and urea production. In total, an estimated 500,000 tpy of CO2 emissions will be saved. Linde Engineering Dresden will be responsible for the concept and basic engineering, front-end engineering design (FEED) and detailed engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the facility. The plant is the first carbon capture and utilization (CCU) project of this size to be realized in Saudi Arabia. The reduction of CO2 emissions is an important aim in both SABIC's and Linde’s sustainability strategies, according to company officials";

and, from the Linde Group itself:

Linde to build world’s largest CO2 purification and liquefaction plant - News & Media > Press Releases | The Linde Group; "'Linde to build world’s largest CO2 purification and liquefaction plant'; Munich, 22 August 2013; The technology company The Linde Group has been awarded a contract to build the world’s largest carbon dioxide (CO2) purification and liquefaction plant for Jubail United Petrochemical Company (UNITED), a manufacturing affiliate of SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation). The plant will be located in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia. The plant will be designed to compress and purify around 1,500 tonnes per day of raw carbon dioxide coming from two nearby ethylene glycol plants. The purified gaseous CO2 will be pipelined through the piping corridor of the Royal Commission of Jubail to three SABIC-affiliated companies for enhanced methanol and urea production. Methanol is a basic commodity for the chemical industry and urea is used for fertilizer production. In summary, an estimated 500,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions will be saved each year";

and, in more general terms, from SABIC:

http://kacstetc.com/2012/en/images/speakers/pdf/231.pdf; "'Industrial Look Ahead For CO2 Utilization'; 2012; Fuad Mosa / Dr. Abdullah Alqahtani; SABIC; 'Chemistry That Matters'. (Slide 8, esp.) There is an untapped carbon resource in CO2 emissions".

More about SABIC's very credible partner in all of this Carbon Dioxide collection and utilization, the Linde Group, can be learned via;

The Linde Group - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; "The Linde Group, ... is an international industrial gases and engineering company founded in Germany in 1879. It is the world's largest industrial gas company".

So, in sum, though the initial news releases are just general summaries, "the largest company in the Middle East" is teaming up with "the world's largest industrial gas company" to capture the Carbon Dioxide that is emitted from industrial processes and then convert that captured Carbon Dioxide into desirable commodities like "methanol and urea".

Such productive and profitable use of Carbon Dioxide, should we common peons in US Coal Country ever be deemed worthy to be told about it and enabled to utilize it, in industries which would employ more Americans and reduce our need to further impoverish our nation through continued purchases of OPEC petroleum,  would, of course, be in lieu of Cap and Trade Carbon taxes, which, as seen in at least one nation in some ways similar to the USA that has already imposed them:

Report: Carbon tax drags Australian economy down under | The Daily Caller; "Australia’s efforts to curb carbon dioxide emissions also damaged the country’s economy through higher energy prices and fewer jobs, according to a new report.“Poor policy processes tend to lead to poor policy outcomes, writes Dr. Alex Robson, economist at Australia’s University of Brisbane, ... Australia’s carbon tax experience provides a number of important lessons in how not to go about implementing sensible climate change policy”;.

aren't really the best options for us, at least in terms of our standard of living and national economy; and, probably not in the reduction of Carbon emissions, either.

We can, instead, now indisputably, collect Carbon Dioxide and use it as the raw material from which to manufacture some very valuable chemical commodities.

We, in our press corps, supposedly have watchmen on our towers. Far past time our sergeant of the guard, whoever that might turn out to be, made the rounds and kicked their sorry tails awake, ain't it?


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