A global boutique consultancy, we serve our clients in two ways: via client directed projects (TCG Consulting) and via various programs and studies (TCG Resources).

Unconventional Catalytic Olefins Production

New Multi-Client Report from The Catalyst Group Resources (TCGR)

Unconventional Catalytic Olefins Production: Commercial Vision and Breakout?

Are the firmly established and well-proven production routes to ethylene (C2=) and propylene (C3=) “primed” for a sea change? Has technology progressed sufficiently over the past decade to allow for “shut down” economics in olefin supplies? In an industry where there has been no real impetus for existing ethylene cracker developers/licensors to propose visionary changes for commercial reasons, it is clear that olefins producers and consumers may have the opportunity to consider other options moving forward. These are substantial and strategic investment decisions to be made by the “major” energy, chemical and downstream players involved, all of which have the resources to undertake the needed investments and R&D programs.

TCGR’s visionary study, completed in January 2013 and entitled ”Unconventional Catalytic Olefins Production: Commercial Vision and Breakout?” confirms that, based on pipeline pilot R&D, new science in catalysts and separations for C2= and C3= can significantly reduce production costs. To date, proven technologies have not been optimally integrated which can result in significantly reduced CAPEX and OPEX costs. In addition, substantial environmental benefits (via CO2/GHG emission reductions) can be realized as a result of new technology implementation.

TCGR’s in-depth study reviews the commercial landscape for olefins production, 2012 to 2020 and beyond. It addresses the key economic and market considerations that will affect the pace of decisions in adopting new catalytic olefin production routes, e.g. feedstocks, CAPEX/OPEX, and efficiency drivers. Among the critical topics addressed are:

  • The potential U.S. and global deficit of propylene caused by increased steam cracking of ethane;
  • The main issues, besides CAPEX, of the “status quo” thermal crackers including: conversion, selectivity, inefficiency, and CO2 emissions;
  • The current catalytic technologies that offer significant improvements (i.e., lower CAPEX/OPEX, increased selectivity, increased olefins production, etc.) over steam cracking; and
  • The potential optimization of olefins pre-treatment, production and separation that could make catalytic olefins production a true game changer.

The major findings and conclusions reached in TCGR’s analysis will be important tools for industry executives in their decision making and strategy development for olefins production on a global basis. No report is available which reaches the depth and breadth to satisfy practitioners and new participants alike!

Additional information on the study, including the final presentation, Table of Contents, List of Figures, List of Tables, and the Order Form can be downloaded via the link below. For additional study details or to subscribe, please contact John J. Murphy at +1.215.628.4447 or John.J.Murphy@catalystgrp.com.


The Catalyst Group Resources (TCGR), a member of The Catalyst Group, is dedicated to monitoring and analyzing technical and commercial developments in catalysis as they apply to the global refining, petrochemical, fine/specialty chemical, pharmaceutical, polymer/elastomer and environmental industries.