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Editor’s Comment: Innovations in process technologies

by Martin Menachery on Jul 19, 2017

Martin Menachery, editor, Refining & Petrochemicals Middle East.
Martin Menachery, editor, Refining & Petrochemicals Middle East.

The desire for regional energy independence, combined with a decline in conventional crude production, drives demand for alternate feedstocks like coal, shale oil and heavy crude. Technology licensors have focussed on maximising plant profitability by optimising existing assets and enabling the use of cost-advantaged, abundant feedstocks for power, transportation and chemicals production.

Process technology licensors are focused on extending the world’s resources by converting renewable feedstocks into fuels, chemicals and power; helping preserve the environment by removing contaminants such as sulphur, nitrogen and mercury, producing cleaner-burning fuels; and creating more efficient processes to produce important building blocks used for plastics, to mention few examples.

The demand for petrochemicals, including polyester, plastics and detergents, is on the rise, especially in the emerging markets; yet, the supply is limited by traditional feedstock availability. Innovative processes allow customers to utilise stable, low-cost alternative feedstocks to optimise petrochemicals production and meet the growing demands.

Technological changes are reshaping the competitive landscape for the oil and gas refining and petrochemicals manufacturing firms, creating a new era of growth, change and economic opportunity. The latest process technology innovations empower the refineries in meeting diesel demand in the developing economies, responding to octane needs and diesel sulphur reduction, upgrading heavy fuel oil, and maximising profits from underutilised assets.

Innovation is a continuing process. And, chemical process industry had been at the top of innovations during the last two centuries. The twenty-first century has kept this legacy in its all endeavours and has witnessed radical new directions in process technology development. The innovations in process technologies will be the most important influencer in the prosperity and growth of the refining and petrochemicals manufacturing industries, world over, in the future.


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