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Dow has announced that Sinopec Zhenhai Refining and Petrochemical has launched an ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol (EO/EG) plant in China utilising the Meteor EO/EG process.

Licensed through Dow Chemical, the Meteor process is said to integrate process simplicity, inherent safety and superior catalyst technology into a single reactor design.

The plant is the second in China to utilise the Meteor process, the first being operated by Sinopec-SABIC (Tianjin) Petrochemical.

These Meteor plants are said to attain significant reductions in feedstock consumption and greenhouse gas emissions when compared with industry averages.

Based on 2010 figures to date, these Meteor plants are anticipated to curb feedstock consumption and greenhouse gas emissions over the course of a calendar year as follows: ethylene feedstock reduced approximately 50,000 metric tons per year; oxygen feedstock reduced approximately 165,000 metric tons per year; carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduced approximately 150,000 metric tons per year.

The Meteor EO/EG process allows manufacturers to produce ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol with fewer steps, less equipment and smaller plot size requirements than competitive technologies.

The streamlined process has low capital cost and the Meteor process, combined with the superior catalyst performance, enables efficient utilisation of raw materials and a substantial reduction in plant emissions.

Ethylene glycol, a derivative of ethylene oxide, is an important raw material for a variety of industrial and consumer applications.

It is used in the manufacture of polyester (PET) resins, films and fibres, as well as in the production of antifreezes, coolants, aircraft anti-icer and runway de-icers and solvents.

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