Home > News > The future of coal to ethylene glycol is dim

The future of coal to ethylene glycol is dim

wallpapers News 2020-08-30

used to be one of the "leading" coal chemical industry, now it is in an unprecedented dilemma. On the one h, the oil price continues to decline, which makes the cost advantage of coal to ethylene glycol almost disappear; on the other h, the public's environmental disputes on coal chemical industry caused by haze are becoming increasingly fierce, leading to a series of national industrial policies tightening. What's more, after several years of operation, the coal to ethylene glycol demonstration plant has not been able to reach the production stard. A variety of unpredictable signs can not help but let the industry began to look at this old pet of new coal chemical industry with a suspicious eye.

oil price plummeted, cost advantage weakened

. At present, the crude oil price has fallen below $60 / barrel. The cost advantage of coal to ethylene glycol has been reversed, the ethylene process has gained price competitive advantage. In terms of the international market, the price of ethylene glycol has also hit new lows repeatedly. From the average price of 7300 yuan / ton in the first half of last year, it has dropped to about 5000 yuan / ton now, with a drop of more than 30%, breaking a new low in the past six years. The attack on both sides directly led to the domestic coal to ethylene glycol industry on the verge of loss Inner Mongolia University of science Technology School of chemical engineering President Dr. Wang Yaxiong said.

according to Wang Yaxiong, at present, there are mainly two kinds of process technology for producing ethylene glycol in the world: one is the traditional crude oil naphtha ethylene glycol production, if the crude oil price is less than 60 US dollars / barrel, the production cost is about 4000 yuan / ton; the other is China's original coal to ethylene glycol, which has a wide range of industrialization promotion Based on the technology developed by Fujian Institute of material structure, Chinese Academy of Sciences Jiangsu Danhua technology group, the process cost is about 4500 yuan / ton. Under the situation that the global economy has not yet come out of the recession the crude oil price continues to fall, ethylene process has seriously damaged the living space of China's burgeoning coal to ethylene glycol project. Since last year, it has become common practice for many coal to ethylene glycol plants to stop production repair or postpone the start-up.

Wang Yaxiong said that according to the comprehensive cost calculation, only when the crude oil price is more than 80 US dollars / barrel, can coal to ethylene glycol have a competitive advantage over the ethylene process. Although domestic coal to ethylene glycol projects mostly use lignite as raw material with low price, the project owners are mostly large-scale coal enterprises in transition, the coal to ethylene glycol plant has large investment in the early stage, the technology is not fully mature, so it can not operate at full load, the equipment depreciation cost is high, which weakens its cost advantage. If the oil price predicted by market participants will hover around $70-80 / barrel in the past two years, the coal price will stabilize recover, then the survival development of domestic coal to ethylene glycol projects will encounter major setbacks in the future.

it is understood that while the voice of coal to ethylene glycol is booming in the industry, many industry insiders who are still optimistic about its development prospects are optimistic. Xu Dianhong, senior engineer of Petrochina Lanzhou Chemical Research Center, said: "the good basis for future expectations is mainly the large domestic supply gap. This year, China's ethylene glycol dem is expected to reach 15 million tons, while the actual output of the two processes is only 6.6 million tons, with a gap of 8.4 million tons, the self-sufficiency rate is less than 50%. In the next few years, it is difficult to change the situation of high dependence on ethylene glycol in the short term The project of "spkds / SPD" in Henan Province is now in trial operation. A person in charge of the company, who did not want to be named, revealed that the impact of ethylene method does exist, but from the domestic point of view, the new capacity of naphtha route integration device in the next few years is very limited, the market volume will not be large. According to statistics, from 2014 to 2015, only about 1.3 million tons of ethylene glycol plants were put into operation in China, while the new production capacity of coal to ethylene glycol will reach 4 million tons, which is three times of that. At the same time, the price of ethylene glycol abroad, especially in the Middle East, is restricted by trade policy measures such as freight tariff of China, so the price of ethylene glycol entering China may not have absolute advantage. In addition, although the price of ethylene glycol has plummeted the ethylene process is pressing step by step, the gross profit of coal to ethylene glycol is still 500 yuan / ton. In the long run, the global economic stagflation pattern is bound to change. With the macroeconomic recovery, the oil price will climb to $80 / barrel return to economic normality. At that time, coal to ethylene glycol can gradually replace imports usher in the golden development period.

industrial policy mutation project promotion is worrying.

Wang Yaxiong analyzed that: "in fact, including coal to ethylene glycol, coal chemical industry water consumption, pollutant emissions treatment difficulties are relatively large, if the environmental protection problem is not completely solved, the more stringent industrial policy is difficult to overcome. The new project will surely run aground, even if it has been put into production, it is difficult for enterprises to have a foothold. China's environmental protection situation is increasingly grim, especially the public's continuous concern concern about the haze climate, which directly promotes the rapid adjustment of relevant industrial policies of the state, coal chemical industry is the first to bear the brunt. New coal chemical industry, including coal to ethylene glycol project, was once encouraged to develop in the "petrochemical industry adjustment revitalization plan" of the State Council in 2009 the "industrial structure adjustment catalogue (2011 version)" issued by the national development Reform Commission in 2011, so it has blossomed everywhere, but now it has obviously begun to enter a low ebb, many projects have been delayed or finally stred due to environmental protection other issues. "

it is understood that by the end of 2014, there were more than 20 coal to ethylene glycol projects under construction or planned in China, with an annual production capacity of 3 million tons, which will be gradually located in Henan, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Guangdong, Shaanxi, Jiangsu, Fujian other regions. However, it is uncertain whether many projects can be started on time or put into operation smoothly. Jiangsu Danhua group, a leading domestic coal to ethylene glycol enterprise, failed to put into operation on schedule due to environmental problems. At the end of 2014, the company's 200000 t / a coal to ethylene glycol project in Anyang City, Henan Province, was subject to administrative punishment because it was put into trial production without the approval of the environmental protection department. At the same time, the 100000 t / a coal to ethylene glycol project in Luoyang, originally scheduled for trial production at the end of 2014, was forced to postpone to the first half of 2015 due to environmental problems. In addition, some areas with relatively short water resources are also in the new coal to ethylene glycol project, the progress of the project is worrying. Chang Zhenguo, general manager of Guizhou Qianxi coal chemical company, said that the company is building 300000 tons / year coal to grade B2At present, the capital construction of the company has been basically completed, the ordering of equipment materials has been completed. However, the water resources assessment scheme is being improved. The most worrying problem is the medium long-term water resources. At present, the water intake point of the enterprise is a reservoir called Shaba River, the second phase project of Qianxi power plant is also the same water intake point, which inevitably leads to water competition.

since last year, the state has launched a number of policies regulations aimed at strengthening environmental protection, which undoubtedly have a significant impact on the future development of coal chemical industry. On August 20, 2014, the state issued a clear signal for the emergency brake of coal chemical industry. In the catalogue of encouraged industries in Western China officially released by the national development Reform Commission, coal chemical projects were not included as expected. On January 1, 2015, the new environmental protection law, known as the strictest in history, was officially implemented. This is not only the first major revision of the environmental protection law in the past 25 years, but also a major breakthrough in haze control, information disclosure, environmental law enforcement, etc. At the press conference on the new environmental protection law held on March 2, 2015, the person in charge of the Department of political science law of the Ministry of Environmental Protection said that the Ministry of environmental protection was studying the reform of the EIA system the revision of the law on environmental impact assessment, which would be included in the work plan of the National People's Congress. On March 4, 2015, the Ministry of industry information technology issued the notice of "2015 industrial green development special action implementation plan", requiring that by the end of 2015, coal consumption should be reduced by more than 4 million tons. It should be noted by the coal chemical industry that the plan emphasizes that key industries must improve the clean utilization level of coal reduce atmospheric emissions.

in addition, industry insiders disclosed that on March 6, the Ministry of industry information technology the Ministry of Finance jointly issued the action plan for clean efficient utilization of coal in industrial fields (2015-2020), proposing that by 2017, coking, industrial furnaces, coal chemical industry industrial boilers will save 80 million tons of coal consumption, reduce 500000 tons of smoke dust, 600000 tons of sulfur dioxide emissions, 40 million tons of nitrogen oxides Million tons.

technology bottleneck is difficult to solve, but forced to upgrade


coal to ethylene glycol tomorrow? Among the various queries, the only consensus reached by the industry is to break through the technical bottleneck as soon as possible.


the coal to ethylene glycol technology jointly developed by Jiangsu Danhua group Fujian Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences is an independent technology that has been implemented in China earlier. The technology was first applied in the 200000 t / a coal to ethylene glycol project of Inner Mongolia Tongliao gold Coal Chemical Co., Ltd., a holding subsidiary of Danhua group, became the first national demonstration project of coal to ethylene glycol recognized by the national development Reform Commission. However, the whole process of Jinmei chemical plant was opened in December 2009 qualified products were produced, so far, the national development Reform Commission has not accepted the project.


Inner Mongolia Tongliao gold coal chemical company insiders said: "in 2013, due to the frequent failure of various equipment, many times of shutdown for maintenance, the operating rate was only 54%. In 2014, the average load of the production line of the enterprise was only 76%, with a total production cost of 126600 tons. The total cost of ethylene glycol was about 500 million yuan, the production cost was about 4500 yuan / ton, which was significantly reduced by 1800 yuan compared with that in 2013. Meanwhile, the unit price of ethylene glycol was 5189 yuan / ton, with a gross profit margin of 17%. In 2015, Tongliao Jinmei's primary task is to strive to achieve an annual average production load of more than 85% of the designed capacity, with an annual sales of 145000 tons of ethylene glycol 55000 tons of oxalic acid, the output rate of superior products is stable at more than 98%

can not reach the production capacity. Besides, relevant experts in the industry also disclosed that at present, coal to ethylene glycol products have been put into production in China, the more embarrassing thing is that the quality is not up to stard. Ethylene glycol products in China are mainly used in the production of polyester, antifreeze, unsaturated resin, adhesives, paint solvents, cold resistant lubricants, surfactants polyester polyols, among which polyester accounts for more than 90% of China's ethylene glycol consumption. At present, the impurity content ultraviolet transmittance of coal to ethylene glycol products can not meet the requirements of polyester grade, so they can only be mixed with ethylene glycol in low proportion. If it can not meet the requirements of downstream polyester market, there is almost no market prospect for coal to ethylene glycol, its cost advantage in competition with ethylene process is meaningless.

on the coal to ethylene glycol technology is not fully mature industrialization project promotion other issues, East China University of science Technology Professor Fang Dingye, Northwest University School of chemical engineering President Ma Xiaoxun other experts pointed out: the first is the catalyst problem, domestic research institutes have developed catalysts, there are short life, precious metal component content reaction process hot spot control problems need to be solved Second, whether the final product can reach the polyester grade has yet to be verified; third, there is no accurate technical economic evaluation environmental assessment, the competitiveness should be carefully tested. Therefore, the future industrial development still needs further research experiment. It is not suitable to promote it on a large scale. The key point is to do a good job of project demonstration. The technical bottleneck of

is pushing forward the innovation upgrading of coal to ethylene glycol step by step. A staff member of Fujian Institute of material structure, Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that with the support of CAS strategic pilot science technology project, national major scientific problem oriented project national "973" plan, the Institute has developed a complete set of second-generation coal to ethylene glycol technology with complete intellectual property rights, including new efficient low-cost catalysts, technologies new technological processes 。 Compared with the first generation technology, the second generation coal to ethylene glycol technology further optimizes the process flow, realizes the reduction of catalyst loading of precious metals the replacement of toxic metals, greatly improves the performance life of the catalyst, greatly reduces the cost, greatly improves the environmental protection of the technology. "

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