Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Oxygen sponge saves energy during the production of plastics

14.02.2005


Dutch researcher Bart de Graaf has developed a solid oxygen carrier, a sort of oxygen sponge. The oxygen from the sponge reacts with hydrogen to produce water. With De Graaf’s discovery a lot of energy can be saved during the production of raw materials for plastics.



Hydrogen is released during the conversion of ethane and propane to ethylene and propylene, raw materials for the production of plastics. Using oxygen from a so-called oxygen sponge to convert hydrogen into water saves a lot of energy during the production process.

The oxygen sponge only reacts with the hydrogen released and not with other compounds in the chemical reaction, such as ethane and propane. This allows more starting materials to be converted in one cycle and makes the separation of the starting material and product both easier and cheaper. This new process therefore saves a lot of energy.


Shopping bags, Australian banknotes and many other materials contain the plastics polyethylene or polypropylene. These are made from the raw materials ethylene and propylene. Linking together these raw materials creates a large network of molecules, a plastic.

The majority of ethylene and propylene is made from ethane and propane, produced during the cracking of crude oil. Ethane and propane are converted into ethylene and propylene plus hydrogen in a reactor vessel at a very high temperature.

Unfortunately, this chemical reaction is an equilibrium reaction. This means that although ethylene and propylene are formed, the starting materials are not completely used up in the reaction. The product produced is therefore contaminated. It costs a lot of energy to separate the starting materials and products, and to return the starting materials left to the reactor.

Bart de Graaf developed a process which directly removes one of the products from the equilibrium reaction. Using an oxygen sponge to convert the hydrogen released into water allows the reaction to continue until most of the starting materials have been used up.

The research was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

Dr Bart de Graaf | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nwo.nl

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Harder 3D-printed tools – Researchers from Dresden introduce new process for hardmetal industry
11.10.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Keramische Technologien und Systeme IKTS

nachricht Flying High with VCSEL Heating
04.10.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First diode for magnetic fields

Innsbruck quantum physicists have constructed a diode for magnetic fields and then tested it in the laboratory. The device, developed by the research groups led by the theorist Oriol Romero-Isart and the experimental physicist Gerhard Kirchmair, could open up a number of new applications.

Electric diodes are essential electronic components that conduct electricity in one direction but prevent conduction in the opposite one. They are found at the...

Im Focus: Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.

Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Removing toxic mercury from contaminated water

21.11.2018 | Life Sciences

New China and US studies back use of pulse oximeters for assessing blood pressure

21.11.2018 | Medical Engineering

Exoplanet stepping stones

21.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>