The recent startup of a methanol-to-olefins (MTO) demonstration plant in Belgium by Total Petrochemicals proves that plastics can also be produced from biomass-based methane, according to UOP LLC (a Honeywell company), which developed the MTO technology.
“This success demonstrates that the UOP/Hydro technology can produce high-quality propylene, one of the major building blocks for plastics and petrochemicals, from alternative feedstocks,” said Peter Piotrowski, senior vice president and general manager of UOP Process Technology and Equipment. “This technology gives petrochemical producers new, viable alternatives to the use of petroleum by enabling the use of methanol derived from sources such as natural gas, coal or biomass.”
The unit has already processed up to 10 metric tonnes/day of methanol to produce light olefins ethylene and propylene.
Maybe the next step will be waste-based methane to plastics?