Coal To Chemicals (CTC)
In this page, “chemicals” stands for “petrochemicals”.
One can note that the term “Coal To Chemicals” or “CTC” is sometimes used to embrace the production of any hydrocarbon from coal including liquid fuels and natural gas, as long as liquid fuels and natural gas are “chemicals” – in fact, any material on the earth is a “chemical”.
Coal To Chemicals represents the main application of gasification, which is the first step in most coal conversion processes.
Petrochemicals can be produced from hydrocarbons other than coal, such as biomass.
Products can be split into families: ammonia and urea on the one hand, methanol and the “chemistry of methanol” on the other hand.
Coal is first gasified with steam and oxygen to produce a synthetic gas or “syngas”, composed of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2) and to a lesser extent carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) as well as impurities.
The [H2]/[CO] ratio in the syngas classically needs to be increased, which is achieved in a “water-gas shift” reaction, where CO and water are converted to CO2 and H2. Syngas is then cleaned to eliminate dust, tar and acid gases.
Two families of chemicals are produced from coal.
- Ammonia and urea
- Chemistry of methanol
Operations and projects
Most operations and projects are in China, in addition to a plant in the USA.
Production is often a mix of several types of chemicals.
Main chemicals produced from coal are urea on one side and, on the methanol side, methanol itself, olefins (ethylene, polyethylene, polypropylene), MEG (monoethylene glycol), DME (dimethyl ether), acetic acid.