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The following documents are original submitted documents which were submitted to Chemistry in Australia where they were published. These documents where edited before final publication and cut-down to suit the journal. This often involved deletion of material which some readers may find useful. These original documents also contain pertinent references. During the editing process the titles of the documents were changed and I have renamed the files according to the final publication title. Publication dates are found in my publications list or full CV
Biodiesel and by-products - Glycerine [pdf] 0.2mb
Biofuels and Biochemicals - Download Document [pdf] 0.2mb
Declining refineries - Download Document [pdf] 0.2mb
New coal chemistry - Download Document [pdf] 0.2mb
Steam cracking operations - Download Document [pdf] 0.2mb
Naphtha has been produced from coal since the start of the industrial revolution in the 1780s. Today most of the naphtha produced from coal is as a byproduct in the production of coke for steel making. However, since the rise in the price of crude oil and crude oil derivatives over the past decade there has been increased interest in producing commodity products from non oil sources.
Helium is a strategic industrial mineral element of which the occurrence on earth is relatively rare. It has become an increasingly important substance with the advent of super conductors (especially for MRI machines) and is needed for inert gas flooding during conductive metals welding and in the manufacture of silicon and germanium crystals and wafers.
Read here about the does and don'ts of converting coal and biomass to liquids.
Read here about the values of Naphtha in steam cracking.
Coal is widely available in most parts of the world. Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) gives the promise of turning many poor quality coal resources into exploitable reserves by delivering energy in the form of synthesis gas – carbon monoxide and hydrogen, potentially at very low cost.
I first came across the use of Dimethyl Ether (DME) as an alternative fuel for power generation back in the mid 1990s.
DME (Dimethyl ether) [pdf] 0.2mb
Expansion of Australia’s LNG industry will negate any attempt to reduce carbon emissions by a carbon tax.
LNG and Carbon Tax [pdf] 0.1mb
As a consequence of the GFC most western governments are taking on large amounts of debt.
The Carbon Emissions of Debt [pdf] 0.1mb
A featured document about the ammonia production cost's.
Ammonia Production Cost - Download Document [pdf] 0.2mb
A featured presentation about Some do's and don'ts of converting coal and biomass to liquids.
CTL & BTL - Download Document [pdf] 0.2mb
About 130 million tonnes of ammonia is produced each year. However, most of this material is used on local domestic markets so that only about 20 million tonnes is traded.
Styrene is made from intermediates from oil, so what is the impact of rising (or falling) oil price on the price of styrene?
Most methanol traded outside of China is produced from natural gas in large facilities with outputs over 2000t/d. Some recent operations, often referred to as Mega-Methanol1, have capacities in excess of 5000t/d.
In the last commentary (C5: The impact of crude oil price on aromatics prices), we showed the good correlation between the price of crude oil and mixed xylene isomers. In this comment we discuss the impact of oil prices on para-xylene and ortho-xylene.
What is the impact of rising (or falling) oil price on the price of the aromatics benzene, toluene and xylene(BTX)? Clearly since these products are made from oil derived intermediates such as naphtha by reforming or steam cracking, there is an expected positive correlation with the price of oil.
A featured presentation about selling GTL. The areas it will cover are: Retail forecourts for fuels, Premium blend-stock markets, Chemical markets, Gasoline/petrol via methanol, LPG via methanol, Naphtha via FT process and Diesel via FT process
This commentary concerns the historical trend in the price differentials between the spot market for olefins in the European Union and South East Asia (SEA). The following graph shows the trend from 2006 to mid 2012. For most of the trend curve we can see that the price for olefins in both the EU and SEA are very similar when as expressed in US$/t.
Most ethylene is produced by steam cracking of hydrocarbons in particular naphtha and ethane. The spot price in the EU is illustrated in the figure below for the period 1988 to 2012. The EU chemical industry contains many players and pipeline interconnections make the trade in ethylene relatively easy.
Butadiene is principally produced in the steam-cracking of naphtha and gas oil to produce light olefins and in particular ethylene. The figure illustrates the reported EU spot price for butadiene and ethylene from 1988 to mid 2012. The price curve clearly falls into two parts, before and after about mid 2008.
What is the impact of rising (or falling) oil price on the price of ethylene? Clearly since ethylene is made from oil derived products such as naphtha by steam cracking, there would be expected to be a positive correlation with the price of oil.
There is a business opportunity to satisfy the increasing demand for butadiene. The main issue to be addressed is the high capital cost for the dehydrogenation of butane or butene and the separation of butadiene. There are clearly opportunities to lower this cost by finding alternative routes, possibly by re-engineering of older and largely abandoned processes which use ethanol or acetylene as the starting material.
Of the many facets of the crisis that is gripping EU most commentary is focused on monetary problems. However, there should be more attention paid to the cost of energy in Europe. Although this was not the main source of the crisis, it is of critical importance when considering how the distressed European economies are going to get out of the current mess.
With the advent of ‘Carbon Taxes’ the carbon footprint of coal has become an economic as well as an environmental issue and the emission of methane in mine out-bye air as ventilation air methane (VAM) is a pending liability As well as being economic and environmental concerns, VAM and VAM management have safety, social licence and operational factors that must also be addressed.
Coal is widely available in most parts of the world. Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) gives the promise of turning many poor quality coal resources into exploitable reserves by delivering energy in the form of synthesis gas, potentially at very low cost. The synthesis gas can be used for generation of electricity and the production of fuels and chemicals by commercially proven technology.