Published November 1981
In the late 1990s, because of the pressure exerted on the cost of ethylene by the increasing price of oil, interest in the long-dormant subject of acetylene production was renewed.
The present report treats the calcium carbide process (including the manufacture of calcium carbide) and the arc process, neither of which was included in the earlier report. The partial oxidation process described in the original report was based on SBA Chimie technology; the present report features MSF technology, which is now used commercially. Also in this report, SRI evaluates the technology of recovering the acetylene that is by-produced in ethylene production and compares the economics of recovery with that of hydrogenation.
The thermal cracking process for producing acetylene, once widely used, has been abandoned. The submerged flame process was only used for a few years, in one plant. The coal arc process is still in the early development stages. The Kureha/UCC process is in the pilot stage- These four processes are briefly evaluated in this report, on the basis of data from earlier PEP reports or from the relevant companies.
The competitive position of acetylene relative to ethylene in vinyl chloride and vinyl acetate production and relative to propylene in acrylic acid production is described.
Huels and BASF supplied valuable information about the latest aspects of their technologies, and allowed the author to visit their acetylene plants. The Formosa Plastic Corporation allowed the author to visit its carbide plant and commented on the report section on carbide manufacture. Aerzener Maschinenfabrik and Mycom Corporation supplied price quotations. To all of them we express our sincere gratitude.
Other PEP Related Reports: