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More China’s coal gasification and Coal-to-X plans will be shared at World Clean Coal Conference, China 2015!
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投资1200亿最大单体煤化工项目开工
Apr. 28, 2016

4月19日,神华榆林循环经济煤炭综合利用项目(简称CTC项目)一期年产200万吨煤制甲醇项目主任组首次会议在榆神工业区召开,会议由神华煤制油化工公司董事长、总经理张继明主持。张继明在会上宣读了煤制油化工公司《关于成立神华榆林循环经济煤炭综合利用项目主任组的通知》,这标志着CTC项目的实质性开工。
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CTC项目是迄今为止世界上一次投资额最大的煤化工项目,项目总投资1200亿元,一期年产200万吨煤制甲醇项目投资100亿,预计于2019年底建成。项目建设地点为位于榆神工业区清水煤化工园区的北区。

神华榆林循环经济煤炭综合利用项目2015年3月16日由国家发改委正式核准,是发改委在“十三五”期间核准的最大单体煤化工项目。

2015年3月27日在神木县榆神工业区正式奠基,项目总投资1200亿元,主要建设1300万吨煤矿、70万千瓦热电联产机组和23套化工装置,以煤炭为原料,年生产醇、酸、酯、胺、醚等10余种上百个牌号的218.65万吨化工产品。



内蒙古200万吨煤制油环评申请受理
Apr. 3, 2016

4月1日,国家环保部发布公示,正式受理内蒙古伊泰煤制油有限责任公司200万吨/年煤炭间接液化示范项目环评申请。根据建设项目环境影响评价审批程序的有关规定,将受理情况予以公示,公示期为2016年4月1日—2016年4月15日(10个工作日)。
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内蒙古伊泰煤制油有限责任公司投资建设的200万吨/年煤炭间接液化示范项目于2013年底获得国家发展和改革委员会办公厅《关于内蒙古伊泰煤炭间接液化示范项目开展前期工作的复函》(发改办能源[2013]3054号)。

项目建设地点为内蒙古自治区鄂尔多斯市准格尔旗大路工业园南工业基地,拟建设规模为年产200万吨油品及其他副产品,建设单位为内蒙古伊泰煤制油有限责任公司。项目采用北京中科合成油技术有限公司技术方案,工程承包方为中国天辰工程有限公司。

200万吨/年煤炭间接液化示范项目投资单位共四家,分别为内蒙古伊泰集团有限公司、内蒙古伊泰煤炭股份有限责任公司、内蒙古矿业(集团)有限责任公司、内蒙古伊泰煤制油有限责任公司。项目总投资293.42亿元人民币

。 200万吨/年煤炭间接液化示范项目由内蒙古伊泰煤制油有限责任公司实施建设。内蒙古伊泰煤制油有限责任公司创立于2006年3月,注册资本为23.529亿元人民币,是由内蒙古伊泰集团有限公司(持股9.5%)、内蒙古伊泰煤炭股份有限公司(持股51%)与内蒙古矿业(集团)有限责任公司(持股39.5%)联合组建的股份制企业。

项目背景
伊泰16万吨/年煤间接液化制油项目于2005年12月8日,由内蒙古自治区发改委以内发改工字〔2005〕1832号文件核准建设,2006年5月开工,2008年12月完成建安工程,2009年3月20日成功产出合成粗油品,2009年3月27日顺利产出我国煤间接液化工业化第一桶合格成品油。2010年7月,内蒙古自治区发改委委托中国国际工程咨询公司组织专家、院士对年产16万吨煤制油工业化示范项目进行了72小时现场性能考核,综合评价认为:“示范项目核心技术成熟可靠,运行稳定,具备了进行大型工业化煤制油项目设计和建设的工程技术基础条件,对推进我国煤炭间接液化项目的产业化奠定了较坚实的技术基础”。
在一期示范项目基础上,内蒙古伊泰煤制油有限责任公司拟建设200万吨/年煤炭间接液化示范项目,2013年12月16日,国家发改委以发改办能源[2013]3054号支持本项目开展前期工作。项目拟选厂址位于原一期项目场区的西部,总占地288.18公顷,总投资约293.42亿元,建设期3年。建设内容包括空分、气化、净化、油品合成、尾气处理、油品加工等主要工艺装置,同时建设配套的公用工程装置及全厂性工程。



GE to Provide Wastewater Treatment Technology for Chinese Coal-to-Chemical Plant
Apr. 26, 2016

To help meet new regulations governing wastewater treatment at Chinese coal-to-chemical plants, a facility in Yulin City will install GE’s (NYSE: GE) advanced zero liquid discharge (ZLD) technology. GE’s ZLD evaporator and crystallizer system will eliminate liquid discharge of waste and enable water reuse at the Shaanxi Future Energy Chemical Co., Ltd. coal-to-chemical plant in Shaanxi Province, China.
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China is one of the world's largest producers of coal, and coal-fired power plants provide the majority of the country’s electricity. Coal also serves as a vital feedstock and is converted into a wide variety of chemical and petroleum products. Under China’s new regulations, including the Water Pollution Action Plan, the New Environmental Protection Law and China’s 13th Five-Year Plan, these plants must eliminate the liquid discharge of wastewater into the environment and a ZLD system must be installed to obtain a permit for these plants.

The Hongdun facility is a coal-to-liquid project where Shaanxi Future Energy Chemical converts coal into a variety of oil products. GE’s wastewater treatment system includes a vapor recompression brine concentrator followed by a crystallizer, providing a proven and cost-effective ZLD solution. The equipment is expected to be delivered in mid-2016, with commissioning in March 2017. Once operational, the HongDun Wastewater Treatment Facility will treat wastewater feed at a rate of 40 m3/hr.

“This project is the sixth of this kind in China for GE in recent years and builds on our reputation as a premier ZLD solution provider worldwide. It is indicative of China’s desire to use innovative methods, such as zero liquid discharge wastewater treatment technology, to expand the coal-to-chemical industry while minimizing environmental impact,” said Kevin Cassidy, global leader, engineered systems—water and process technologies for GE Power.



Coal-to-olefin Projects still Popular in China over Next 5 YRS
Dec. 17, 2015

Many enterprises still have a zest for building and further developing coal-to-olefin projects during the “13th Five-Year Plan” period (2016-2020), though such projects shrank notably in plans drafted by the local governments coal-rich Xinjiang, Shanxi, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia.
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Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group would quicken the pace of building coal-to-methanol and dimethyl ether/methanol to olefins (DMTO) projects in Fuxian county in Yan’an, with capacity at 1.8 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) and 600,000 tonnes per annum (600 Ktpa), respectively, said the company’s Chief Coal Chemical Expert Li Dapeng on December 11.

As constructions have been delayed, Yanchang Petroleum aimed to finish these projects in the next five years.

Having achieved substantial economic yields in its first production line of the Yulin coal chemical project since commercial operation started in 2014, China National Coal Group would start the second production line during the “13th Five-Year Plan” period.

That would mainly include coal-to-methane, DMTO, coal-based polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) projects, with capacity at 1.8 Mtpa, 600,000 Ktpa, 300,000 Ktpa and 300,000 Ktpa, separately.

Shaanxi Coal & Chemical Industry Group also considered it a good timing to expand coal-to-olefin projects. The company plans to accelerate the building of 300,000-Ktpa coal-to-glycol at Binchang and 700,000-Ktpa coal-to-olefin projects at Pucheng during the “13th Five-Year Plan” period.

Shandong-based Yankuang Group, parent of Yanzhou Coal Mining Co., Ltd., planned to develop refined processing technologies for coal-based liquids, as well as MTO and MTP processes and key equipment and technologies during the period, according to Vice General Manager Sun Qiwen.

In addition, top miner Shenhua Group would invest more in coal chemical projects, aiming to build three major coal-to-olefin bases in Ningdong, Yulin and Baotou in the next five to ten years.

It planned to build two MTO projects, designed capacity at 680,000 Ktpa and 700,000 Ktpa, in Xinjiang and Baotou, and a 1.4-Mtpa pyrolysis gas-to-olefin project in Ningdong.

It also planned PP and PE facilities, with capacity at 600,000 Ktpa and 450,000 Ktpa, respectively.

During the “13th Five-Year Plan” period, China will further promote coal-to-olefin projects in in Xinjiang (Zhundong), Shanxi, western and eastern Inner Mongolia, Ningxia (Ningdong), Shaanxi (Yuheng) and Anhui (Zhong’an), with combined capacity totaling 13.92 Mtpa.

By 2020, total capacity of coal-to-olefin projects in China was expected to be 20 Mtpa, accounting for 25-35% of the total olefin capacity.



Shenhua Xinjiang, Integrated CTO Project, Ready for Trial Production
Apr. 13, 2016

Shenhua Xinjiang Coal-based New Materials Project has entered into its final test before the official start-up on Apr 12, which is of large possibility to see in May 2016. Commercial sales would take a month or two from the start-up, and CCFGroup estimate the product to be supplied to the market in July 2016.
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Located in Urumqi, Xinjiang located coal-based new materials project is invested by Shenhua Group Corporation Limited, with total funding of 22.879 billion China yuan, and will reach the largest scale of coal-chemical industry in Xinjiang.

The plant will be able to produce 1,800,000mtpa methanol through GE coal gasification technology, along with 680,000mtpa methanol-to-olefins (MTO) and 320,000mtpa low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and 360,000mtpa polypropylene (PP) production capacity.

The coal-to chemical industry is high water consuming, as coal-based project is demanded by the Ministry of Environment Protection (MEP) to adopt water recycling system for lower pollution. The investment on environment protection facilities takes 10% of total funding of around 2 billion yuan, in order to reach the goal of increasingly stricter emission standard by China authorities.

“Xinjiang has up to 40% of total coal resources in China, and materials made from coal with high added value could be transported to more developed Southeastern coastal regions and make a full use of Xinjiang local coal resources through clean and efficient conversion.” Said Peng Xiaochun, Party Secretary of Shenhua Xinjiang.

Peng also announced that Shenhua Xinjiang Coal-based New Materials will be shifted to a subsidiary of Shenhua Group, as it is now an affiliate of the group corporation. It means that all taxes from Shenhua Xinjiang will be 100% kept in Xinjiang, being larger support to the autonomous region and Urumqi, and as an affiliate, 60% of the tax will be delivered to Beijing.



Air Products Signs gas-separation Deal in China
Mar. 3, 2016

Air Products said Thursday one of its divisions has been contracted to build a "large quantity" of gas separators for purifying hydrogen at a facility in north-central China.
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In a news release, the Trexlertown industrial gases supplier said its division, which is in St. Louis, will build the separators for Ningdong Energy and Chemical Industry in Ningxia, China, as part of a coal-to-liquids project. The company did not disclose financial terms or how many separators are being built.

Air Products' St. Louis division makes systems that separate gases by passing them through membranes. The membranes are part of a hydrogen purification and recycling operation that is expected to start later this year. Impure hydrogen from coal processing passes through the membrane system, which removes contaminants. It also purifies hydrogen for reuse. Its system separates hydrogen from methane, carbon monoxide and other hydrocarbons.

"This coal-to-liquids project demonstrates China's advanced capabilities in the energy industry, and we are very proud to be part of it," said Peter Fung, business manager of Permea China Ltd., a division of Air Products membranes.



Air Products' World-Class Air Separation Unit Project in Yulin, Western China Fully Onstream
Jan. 28, 2016

Air Products (NYSE: APD), a world-leading industrial gases company, today announced its four air separation unit (ASU) trains built for Shaanxi Future Energy Chemical Co., Ltd. in Yulin City, Shaanxi Province, China, have been brought fully onstream. The project, capable of producing 12,000 tons per day of oxygen and significant tonnage volumes of nitrogen and compressed dry air for the customer's coal chemical plant, represents one of the largest single on-site ASU orders ever committed to an industrial gas company.
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"This is a great milestone for Air Products and thanks to Shaanxi Future Energy Chemical for their trust in us to supply the very large industrial gas demand of such a monumental project. The successful execution of this world-scale project is another testimonial of our leading position in large air separation and excellence in safety, reliability and technology," said Phil Sproger, vice president, Asia On-Site Business Development, Industrial Gases. "We will continue to pursue opportunities where we can leverage on our application solutions and expertise to support China's sustainable development under its 13th Five-year Plan."

The industrial gases produced by Air Products' ASUs and supplied to Shaanxi Future Energy Chemical at Yulin are used to help produce one million tons of high quality oil products annually. The four ASU trains are equipped with state-of-the-art air compressors as well as design and technology advancements to enhance energy efficiency and minimize operational costs for the customer.

Established in 2011, Shaanxi Future Energy Chemical is jointly-owned by the state-backed Yankuang Coal Group (50%), Yanzhou Coal Co., Ltd. (25%) and Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group (25%). Its Yulin coal-to-liquid demonstration project has recently been awarded "China's Top 10 Project" for the efforts on innovation and sustainability and setting leading examples for the 13th five-year time period by China Petroleum & Chemical Industrial Federation, a non-profit organization covering over 300 major companies, institutions and associations in China's petrochemical industry; and China Chemical Industry News, the country's leading trade publication.

Dr. Sun Qiwen, general manager of Shaanxi Future Energy Chemical, said, "We are pleased to have partnered with Air Products on this important project and impressed with their technological and safety expertise demonstrated throughout the execution."

Air Products has been operating in China since 1987 and supporting customers to meet their productivity, energy efficiency, and environmental targets with its integrated gases supply, sustainable solutions and expertise. The company has built several world-scale ASU facilities in the country supplying large tonnage quantities of industrial gases to significant energy projects for customers including Weihe Clean Energy Co. and Pucheng Clean Energy Co. in Shaanxi Province. It is building another multi-train ASU project in Shanxi Province to support Shanxi Lu'an Mining Group's coal-to-liquid business.

Outside China, the company is now building the world's largest industrial gas complex, capable of supplying 75,000 metric tons per day (20,000 oxygen and 55,000 nitrogen) to Saudi Aramco's refinery being built in Jazan, Saudi Arabia. Key process equipment is designed by Air Products' engineering and manufacturing team in Shanghai and will be manufactured in China.



China’s New Coal-to-gas Pipeline
Oct. 16, 2016

China has utilised coal-to-gas technology to decrease pollution, and increase the amount of cleaner fuels within large cities. However, environmental groups have stated that the coal-to-gas and/or coal-to-liquid projects will in fact have little effect on reducing pollution and carbon emissions.
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In 2014, China’s National Energy Administration had cautioned operators to consider their coal-to-gas projects. Apart from needing regulator approval for these projects, the warning highlighted issues of environmental damage and costly investments.

Sinopec took the National Energy Administration’s considerations of environmental hazards and, as a result, in July 2015 the company was given permission to undertake their coal-to-gas projects though only within regions that have sufficient water resources.

And now, Sinopec – a Chinese energy giant – has stated that China’s National Energy Administration has approved a pipeline, of which will transport synthetic gas from coal-to-gas projects.

The 8400 km pipeline will carry a maximum of 30 billion m3/y from Xinjiang to Guangdong, and will cost over US$20.5 billion. In the future, the pipeline will transport conventional and shale gas, in addition to coal-bed methane.



Coal-to-chemicals Grows in China, Technology Exports Considered
Nov. 16, 2015

China’s use of coal-to-chemicals technology is poised to become a significant part of the country’s feedstock mix, with analysts at a recent industry conference also raising the possibility that the technology could be exported.
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The Chinese have successfully converted coal to olefins at a cost of $20 to $25 per ton at facilities in remote coal-rich regions, although questions remain about the environmental impact of the technology and the logistics of getting it cheaply to the finished goods factories along the country’s more developed coast.

At least that was the consensus that emerged from delegates and analysts speaking at the Asia Chemical Conference, sponsored by IHS Chemicals, Nov. 5-6 in Singapore.

China has 10.1 billion pounds of coal-to-olefins plants in operation, 15.3 billion pounds under construction to be completed over the next two years and a further 33.1 billion pounds under planning, according to Paul Pang, vice president of greater China at IHS Chemicals.

He said 40 percent of olefin production in China could come from unconventional feedstocks like methanol, coal and propane dehydrogenation by 2020.

“This is up from 20 percent in 2015, and up from a rate of nearly zero percent of olefins coming from unconventional sources just five years ago,” Pang said.

The Chinese are running their plants at full capacity profitably even though crude oil prices have come down drastically, making hydrocarbon-based feedstocks cheaper, he said.

Pang said he has visited almost all of the Chinese coal conversion plants, saying they were neat and clean, although he acknowledged concerns about carbon dioxide emissions.

He also raised the possibility of China exporting coal-to-olefins technology, a point that other delegates at the conference said could fit in with China’s plans to develop the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as a source of technology exports.

Delegates suggested that coal-rich countries in Asia like Indonesia and some places in Eastern Europe could benefit from the modified Chinese technology.

In that analysis, Beijing sees the technology as helping some weaker economies avoid defaulting on debt payments, indirectly helping manage its monetary issues.

One Western analyst at the conference, speaking anonymously because of the sensitivities of the AIIB, said coal-to-chemicals could be seen as a good way to help countries reduce energy imports.

In an interview at the conference, Pang said Chinese investment in coal conversion to liquid and chemicals could slow down.

In prepared comments for the event, he noted that IHS expects investments in unconventional olefins production to peak this year at more than $20 billion.

Some delegates at the conference also raised questions about the environmental impacts of the coal to olefins technology, including disposing of sludge from CTO facilities, although all spoke off the record, saying it too sensitive to be seen as speaking publicly for their companies.



Successful China Launch of Clariant Pre-sulphided Sour Gas Shift Catalyst
Oct. 12, 2015

Clariant’s new generation ShiftMax 820S SGS catalyst employs a proprietary pre-sulfiding process, which offers many advantages for coal-to-chemical producers. The new catalyst greatly improves working conditions by avoiding the use of flammable and toxic agents, such as carbon disulfide or dimethyl sulfide, during the commissioning phase.
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Moreover, it reduces the risk of high temperature excursions and sulfur emissions during plant start-up and production. ShiftMax 820S also optimizes processes as it is typically ready for start-up three times faster than conventional catalysts. Besides saving time, the higher activity of ShiftMax 820S reduces syngas and energy requirements, thus allowing more economical, efficient and simplified operations. ShiftMax 820S is part of an industrially proven catalyst series, which are suitable for all types of coal-to-chemical applications and gasification technologies. The catalyst can be used as a simple drop-in solution without changing any plant equipment.

The launch of ShiftMax 820S demonstrates Clariant’s commitment to offering advanced catalytic solutions for the chemical industry. Another recent introduction is a new SGS process, jointly developed by Clariant and Siemens. Through optimization and simplification of total plant concepts, the new SGS process reduces capital expenditure for the shift system by up to 20%, and optimizes operating costs with up to 30% lower catalyst volume. Futhermore, the technique can handle different steam-to-gas ratios and high carbon monoxide content without adjustment of the feed gas, resulting in improved availability and reliability of the whole process. Thanks to steam-independent control of the exothermal reaction, it is an inherently safe process and there is no risk of temperature run-away reactions. The new SGS process is available for use by all coal gasification companies.

Shanghai Huayi Energy Chemical Co is the principal coal-to-chemical subsidiary of Shanghai Huayi (Group) Company Ltd. It is one of the top three methanol producers in China with an annual production capacity of 1.6 million tons. Clariant’s successful partnership with Shanghai Huayi Energy Chemical Co. Ltd began in 2011 with the delivery of ShiftMax 820 catalysts for an SGS unit. This was followed by catalyst supplies for a second unit in 2012. The catalysts have performed favorably at both units, with a lifetime exceeding 4 years. In 2015, two further units were equipped with Clariant catalysts, this time using the new pre-sulfided ShiftMax 820S. Shanghai Huayi Energy Chemical Co. Ltd is the first producer to use the ShiftMax 820S pre-sulfided Sour Gas Shift catalyst in China, and has confirmed optimal start-up and robust operation at both units.

Meng Qing Jun, Chief Engineer at Shanghai Huayi Energy Chemical Co stated, “Safety is most important during our production. Clariant ShiftMax 820S Sour Gas Shift catalyst not only improves employees’ working environment but also production efficiency with a provision of high value proposition.”

Stefan Heuser, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Business Unit Catalysts at Clariant, added, “The successful launch of ShiftMax 820S was another substantial step in our continued progress in China. We are very pleased to share this achievement with Shanghai Huayi Energy Chemical Co. Ltd. In just four years of partnership, Clariant has succeeded in steadily enhancing its solutions on safety, efficiency and value creation to coal-to-chemical -producers.”



Johnson Matthey to Provide Methanation Technology for Inner Mongolia Coal-to-chemicals Plant
Nov. 12, 2015

Inner Mongolia Lianhe Energy Co. has entered into a contract with Johnson Matthey Process Technologies (JMPT; London, U.K.; www.matthey.com) for the supply of a methanation technology license, engineering, catalysts and technical services for a major new coal-to-chemicals plant. The plant, to be located in Baotou in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in China, will produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) from syngas generated from gasification of coal.
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The new plant, expected to be operational in 2017, will use Johnson Matthey’s proprietary CRG methanation process technology. CRG technology converts carbon oxides and hydrogen to methane, which can be exported by pipeline as substitute natural gas (SNG) or liquefied for export by tanker.

Johnson Matthey Process Technologies is proud to continue its support of the Chinese energy industry with this latest project which follows more than a dozen other applications of CRG technology in China in the last few years. The first of these plants are already operational and successfully supplying SNG to Chinese cities such as Beijing.



The Dilemma of Modern Coal Chemical "Fortress Besieged"
Feb. 29, 2016

In the new normal, massive coal chemical projects pull function on the economic development is particularly important. According to the national coal deep processing "much starker choices-and graver consequences-in planning draft, subsequent coal chemical projects will continue to push forward. In 2016-2020, China's coal chemical projects will enter the upgrade demonstration and commercial development, coal, coal to methanol/olefin, coal gas, and other fields will have a large number of projects completed and put into operation.
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News from China coal chemical industry, according to the current, on the one hand, some of the coal chemical projects under the multiple pressures, seek for the merger and reorganization, or listing requirements or to transfer; On the other hand, some investors or one thousand ways for the government to be flagging, or apply for eia report, over and over again, to squeeze into the coal chemical industry. At this point in time, now, whether in the "inside" or "outside" think ran in, all need to be more rational.

First of all, in the "inside" never too pessimistic.

In 2015, a year is the worst of the coal chemical industry enterprise. From the market point of view, the international crude oil prices fell, precipice chemical commodities, including chemical products prices. In terms of environmental protection, as the latest creation of the environmental law, environmental pressure on the coal chemical industry is more and more big.

Modern coal chemical industry present situation is obvious, has built project has no escape route. But too pessimistic nor necessary. The domestic economy in the future for a period of time or a L, also in the bottoming process. Even in the extreme cases, some domestic coal chemical projects will still be able to profit or capital preservation, although some coal chemical projects at a loss, but the device running status order.

In terms of national industrial policy, our country has clear during the period of "much starker choices-and graver consequences-in", the modern coal chemical industry will continue to actively carry out demonstration. In just the past 2015 years, the national development and reform commission have approved a number of large modern coal chemical projects, release a positive signal to coal chemical industry. Therefore, too pessimistic don't have to.

Secondly, in the "outside" to squeeze into the enterprise also is impulse.

As the international crude oil prices slid bluff type, support the development of modern coal chemical industry product cost advantage is no longer, large-scale development of coal chemical industry is no longer market logic; Secondly with the increase of coal chemical industry and investment in new projects, project investment estimate phenomenon intensified. In the long run, coal chemical industry project profitability would be reduced, or even losses for a long time, are more likely to delay the regional economic development, increasing the bank bad debts, affecting the health of the whole industry.

Finally, the implementation of the new "environmental law", no doubt increased the barriers to entry coal chemical enterprises. Policies more whole, 2015 environmental governance, objectively to the modern coal chemical industry, such as the pressure. Since 2015, the existing multiple coal chemical projects eia report by the national environmental protection rejection, lead to so many modern coal chemical projects ground to a halt.

All of this, for those who have not yet entered the modern coal chemical industry in the field of enterprise is a wake-up call, it is necessary to do some more observation, more than a few lucid, after being ripe conveniently and is also not late again.



China Coal Mengda 600-thousand-ton Coal-to-olefin Project test Run Reports Success
Apr. 25, 2016

China Coal Mengda New Energy Chemical launched on April 15 a test run for its engineering plastics project, which is to annually produce 1.8 million tons of methonal from 600 thousand tons of olefins. Qualified propene and ethene were produced after merely 24 hours, a great success for the test run.
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DMTO, a methanol-to-olefin technique invented by Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, was adopted in this project. The successful commissioning of the project will play an important role in facilitating regional economic development, speeding up the implementation of the West China Grand Development Strategy, and diversifying olefin feedstocks.



Converting Coal to Synthetic Natural Gas in China
By Geoffrey Styles, January 22, 2014

In its latest Medium-Term Coal Market Report the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts a slowing of coal demand growth but no retreat in its global use. That won’t surprise energy realists, but the item I wasn’t expecting was the reference in the IEA press release to growing efforts in China to convert coal into liquid fuels and especially synthetic natural gas (SNG). It’s not hard to imagine China’s planners viewing SNG as a promising avenue for addressing the severe local air pollution in that country’s major cities, but the resulting increase in CO2 emissions could be substantial. It could also affect the economics of natural gas projects around the Pacific Rim.
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Air quality in China’s cities has fallen to levels not seen in developed countries for many decades. There’s even a smartphone app to help residents and visitors avoid the worst exposures. Much of this pollution, in the form of oxides of sulfur and nitrogen and particulate matter, is the result of coal combustion in power plants. Although China is adding wind and solar power capacity at a rapid clip, after years of exporting most of their solar panel output, the scale of the country’s coal use doesn’t lend itself to easy or quick substitution by these renewables.

Natural gas offers a lower-emitting alternative to coal on a larger scale than renewables. Existing coal-fired power plants could be converted to run on gas or replaced with modern combined-cycle gas turbine power plants. Gas-fired power plants emit up to 99% fewer local, or “criteria” pollutants than coal plants, especially those with minimal exhaust scrubbing.

Unfortunately, China doesn’t have enough domestic natural gas to go around. Despite potentially world-class shale gas resources and the rapid growth of coal-bed methane and more conventional gas sources, natural gas supplies only 4% of China’s energy needs. Imported LNG can help fill the gap, but it isn’t cheap. What China has in abundance is coal. Converting some of it to SNG could boost China’s gas supply relatively quickly–perhaps faster than the country’s shale gas infrastructure and expertise can gear up.

SNG is hardly a new idea; the Great Plains Synfuels Plant has been producing it in North Dakota since the 1980s. When that facility was built, natural gas prices were volatile and rising, and greenhouse gas emissions appeared on no one’s radar. The process for making SNG from coal is straightforward, and its primary building block, the gasification unit, is off-the-shelf technology. I worked with this technology briefly in the 1980s, and my former employer, Texaco, licensed dozens of gasification units in China before the technology was eventually purchased by GE. Other vendors offer similar processes.

Gasifying coal adds a layer of complexity, compared to gasifying liquid hydrocarbons but this, too, has been demonstrated in commercial operations. Most of the output of the facilities Texaco sold to China was used to make chemicals, but the chemistry of turning syngas (hydrogen plus carbon monoxide) into pipeline-quality methane is no more challenging.

This effort is already under way in China. Last October Scientific American reported that the first of China’s SNG facilities had started shipping gas to customers, with four more plants in various stages of construction and another five approved earlier this year. The combined capacity of China’s nine identified SNG projects comes to around 3.5 billion cubic feet per day, or a bit more than the entire Barnett Shale near Dallas, Texas produced in 2007 as US shale gas production was ramping up. It’s also just over a quarter of China’s total natural gas consumption in 2012, including imported LNG.

To put that in perspective, if that quantity of SNG were converted to electricity in efficient combined cycle plants their output would be roughly double that of China’s 75,000 MW of installed wind turbines in 2012, when wind generated around 2% of the country’s electricity.

The appeal of converting millions of tons a year of dirty coal into clean-burning natural gas, in facilities located far from China’s population centers, is clear. This strategy even has some similarities to one pursued by southern California’s utilities, which for years imported power from the big coal-fired plants at Four Corners. For that matter, the gasification process has some key advantages over the standard coal power plant technologies in the ease with which criteria pollutants can be addressed. Generating power from coal-based SNG might actually reduce total criteria pollutants, rather than just relocating them.

However, wherever these plants are built they would add around 500 million metric tons per year of CO2, or around 5% of China’s 2012 emissions, a figure that dwarfs even the most pessimistic estimates of the emissions consequences of building the Keystone XL pipeline. That’s because the lifecycle emissions for SNG-generated power have been estimated at seven times those from natural gas, and 36-82% higher than simply burning the coal for power generation.

What could possibly lead China’s government to pursue such an option, in spite of widespread concerns about climate change and China’s own commitments to reduce the emissions intensity of its economy? Having lived in Los Angeles when it was still experiencing frequent first-stage smog alerts and occasional second-stage alerts, I have some sympathy for their problem. China’s air pollution causes even more serious health and economic impacts and has been blamed for over a million premature deaths each year. By comparison the consequences of greenhouse gas emissions are more indirect, remote and uncertain. Any rational system of governance would have to put a higher priority on air pollution at China’s current levels than on CO2 emissions.

It might even turn out to be a reasonable call on emissions, if China’s planners envision carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) becoming economical within the next decade. It’s much easier to capture high-purity, sequestration-ready CO2 from a gasifier than a pulverized coal power plant. (At one time I sold the 99% pure CO2 from the gasifier at what was then Texaco’s Los Angeles refinery to companies that produced food-grade dry ice.) It should also be much easier and cheaper to retrofit a gasifier for CCS than a power plant.

In an internal context the trade-off that China is choosing in converting coal into synthetic natural gas is understandable. However, that perspective is unlikely to be shared by other countries that won’t benefit from the resulting improvement in local air quality and view China’s rising CO2 emissions with alarm. I would be surprised if the emissions from SNG were factored into anyone’s projections, and nine SNG plants could be just the camel’s nose under the tent.

In an environment that the IEA has described as a potential Golden Age of Natural Gas, large-scale production of SNG could also constitute an unexpected wild card for energy markets. When added to China’s shale gas potential, it’s another trend for LNG developers and exporters in North America and elsewhere to monitor closely.



Forecast: China Coal-to-Gas Projects
By Platts, January. 31, 2014

Recent forecasts for Chinese gas output have been bullish, based primarily on the success of production from unconventional gas resources. However, the forecasts of state-owned oil and gas companies' generally fall short of those made by government agencies.

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The success or otherwise of unconventional gas in China has major implications for LNG demand and new import pipeline projects.

China hopes to raise its synthetic coal-to-gas output to 50 Bcm a year by 2020, accounting for 12.5% of domestic supply, according to Yang Lei, deputy director of the Department of Oil and Gas at the National Energy Administration, which comes under the umbrella of the powerful National Development and Reform Commission.

The comments echoed those made earlier in January by Wu Xinxiong, NDRC's deputy director as well as head of the NEA, as quoted in the National Business Daily.

Something may have been lost in translation. If 50 Bcm represents 12.5% of domestic supply, it implies that domestic supply will rise to 400 Bcm by 2020, which has generally been the upper boundary of forecasts for total Chinese gas consumption, including imports. It is likely, therefore, that the officials were referring to total Chinese gas supply.

The International Energy Agency's central New Policies Scenario, contained in its World Energy Outlook 2013, forecasts Chinese gas demand rising from 132 Bcm in 2011 to 307 Bcm in 2020. Other forecasts have put China's total 2020 gas demand much higher at between 350-400 Bcm.

The IEA estimates that domestic Chinese gas production will rise from 103 Bcm in 2011 to 178 Bcm in 2020 and to 266 Bcm in 2030.

China's gas supply infrastructure

But again estimates vary widely. According to a recent forecast by the Ministry of Land and Resources, China's natural gas output will more than double to reach 300 Bcm by 2030, split 50:50 between conventional and unconventional resources.

A note of caution with regard to the coal-to-gas estimates was sounded by state-owned China National Petroleum Corp.'s Economics and Technology Research Institute, which said in January that output may fall short of the government's target.

ETRI suggests some 20-30 Bcm of coal-to-gas production by 2020. ETRI said: "Only a few of those coal-to-gas projects approved by the government are likely to come on stream during 2017 to 2018, due to the severe environmental protection problems and lack of pipeline networks."

Nevertheless, even 20 Bcm would still represent a ten-fold expansion from volumes expected this year, making coal-to-gas a substantial component of domestic Chinese gas supply. The MLR says coal-to-gas production is expected to exceed 2 Bcm in 2014.

China's coal-to-gas strategy

The government has been encouraging greater utilization of abundant coal resources stranded in remote areas, such as converting coal to higher value products like natural gas and chemicals, with analysts previously estimating that output of synthetic coal gas will outstrip CBM in the long term.

China already produces significant amounts of coal gas, but the syngas produced is used almost entirely in the chemicals industry.

As of 2012, of total installed capacity, 66 of 69 gasification facilities were directed towards syngas for chemicals production, representing 95% of syngas output by nameplate capacity, according to the Gasification Technologies Council database.

China's push for Synthetic Natural Gas is based on traditional coal mining, with the innovative phase coming in the gasification and methanisation that produces syngas and then upgrades it to SNG.

The advantages include the more efficient extraction of coal's energy value, the potential use of poorer quality coals and the prevention of pollution in densely-populated areas.

Piping SNG produced in Xinjiang or Inner Mongolia to eastern and southern demand centers saves on rail and truck transport of coal to power stations in those areas.

However, any SNG produced is as likely to displace oil products as much as direct coal burn because China expects a rapid increase in city gas consumption over the next decade and is putting the infrastructure in place to facilitate this.

Coal gasification is often portrayed as a 'clean coal' technology, but its main claims in this area are its efficiency and its separation of CO2 pre-combustion, which makes it easier to capture and store CO2.

Without Carbon Capture and Storage, it represents a means of extending coal use rather than lowering its carbon impact. It may produce clean burning gas, but the CO2 is emitted earlier on in the process.

Coal-based SNG production can be seen from two viewpoints. First, as a means for China to exploit more fully its coal resource and thus ultimately to use more coal and emit more CO2.

Second, as a preliminary stage on the road to creating a genuinely low carbon process for the use of coal, which in its initial phase makes some emissions gains through using coal more efficiently.

In the short term, it is likely that by piping SNG to gas consumption centers, China is simply shifting the environmental impact of coal use from densely-populated areas in the south and east to the more sparsely-populated coal-bearing provinces of Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia in the west and north, and displacing oil imports rather than reducing coal use in the power generation sector.



Xinjiang to launch huge coal gasification project
By Xinhua, Oct. 6, 2013

A large coal gasification project will be built in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the regional authorities said Sunday.
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The demonstration project in Zhundong area, Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture, will be the country's largest with a designed capacity of 30 billion cubic meters annually, said the region's development and reform commission.

With a total investment of 183 billion yuan (about 29.7 billion U.S. dollars), the project will be jointly built by Sinopec, Huaneng Xinjiang Energy Development Co., Ltd. and some other energy companies in Xinjiang and eastern Zhejiang Province.

The industrial project will need 90 million tonnes of coal annually. It will provide at least 18,000 jobs.

The coal gas will be transported to booming provinces of Zhejiang in east China and Guangdong in the south through pipelines.

The Zhundong area has estimated coal reserves of 390 billion tonnes and proven reserves of 213.6 billion tonnes, the largest coal field in China.

With the development of new technologies, coal gasification is expected to be a key sector in the country's clean energy initiative. Several big coal gasification projects have been approved by the country's top economic planning body so far.



Alfa Laval Wins SEK 100 Million Energy-Efficiency Order in China
June 4, 2014

Alfa Laval – a world leader in heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling – has won an order to supply compact welded heat exchangers to a coal liquefaction plant in China. The order, booked in the Process Industry segment, has a value of approximately SEK 100 million and delivery is scheduled for 2014.
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The heat exchangers will be used in a coal liquefaction plant, where coal is processed into gas and then further into liquid fuels. The compact welded heat exchangers will be used in the process step where syngas is converted into liquid petroleum.

“This order involves one of our biggest welded heat exchanger types and it is a very demanding application. Their ability to reduce energy consumption is key, which enables a very energy-efficient solution,” says Lars Renstr?m, President and CEO of the Alfa Laval Group.

Did you know that… as part of its clean energy strategy, China has launched several coal liquefaction and coal gasification projects in the past three years.



Sembcorp to invest in Chinese coal to diesel project
October 18, 2013

Sembcorp Industries has announced its plans to invest 932 million yuan (S$ 190 million) to develop the first total water management plant to support a coal-to-diesel project in China.
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The total water management plant, located in Changzhi city in China’s Shanxi province, will offer the most comprehensive range of water products and solutions of among Sembcorp’s water projects in China. The water management plant will provide up to 57 600 m3/d of industrial and potable water, 81 600 m3/d of demineralised water and 984 000 m3/d of cooling water, and treat up to 24 000 m3/d of high concentration industrial wastewater and 9600 m3/d of high salinity industrial water.

The plant will serve Shanxi Lu’an Group’s coal-to-diesel project in Wangqiao industrial park, under a 15 year service agreement secured by Sembcorp. Under the agreement, Sembcorp will be the first to build, own and operate a total water management plant to provide such solutions to large-scale coal-to-diesel projects in China. Lu’an’s project is the first such project to be approved by China’s relevant authorities and has strong support from the Chinese government as it is part of the national energy strategy.

The main products from the coal-to-diesel facility will be liquefied petroleum gas, naphtha and high quality diesel. The plant is expected to be completed between late 2014 and 2015.

Tang Kin Fei, Sembcorp CEO commented: “We are pleased to bring our expertise in total water management and integrated industrial water solutions to support Shanxi Lu’an Group in their coal-to-diesel facility. Besides serving their water requirements, we also help them protect the environment and conserve water resources”.

“We are honoured to be selected by Shanxi Lu’an Group for this important project as it is testament to our total water management capabilities and the strong reputation that Sembcorp has built in China. This project also gives us our first foothold to tap into the coal-to-chemical sector, which includes coal-to-diesel, coal-to-gas and coal-to-alkene facilities, and we look forward to securing more projects in this sector”, he continued.



煤气化大时代
By《能源》, June 10, 2014

新型煤气化工序正朝着前景更为广阔、竞逐益发充分的巨型商业环节演进。作为煤化工最重要的投资环节,气化设备的风险与机遇也变得愈发难以界定。

从贵阳出发,沿着弯曲的山间高速路一路向北,约一个小时即可抵达开阳,路两边的喀斯特地貌不断地涌向眼前。上千年沉积而成的特殊地貌,孕育了地下丰富的矿产资源,吸引了大批的淘金者,也将偏僻的西南小镇带入快速的工业化时代。

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开阳是国内少有的磷和煤炭资源富集区。在当地,围绕磷矿开发和加工的民营企业早已兴起。更为重要的是,连通上下游的庞大产业机会让国内能源巨头也将触角延伸至此,同时也为各路技术设备提供者提供了一个竞逐的绝佳试验场。

  山东老牌国企兖矿集团便是其中之一,并将开阳作为其企业增长的主要战略增量之一视之。在和当地政府协商下,兖矿集团煤炭合成氨项目在此落定,为下游企业加工磷肥提供原料。

  虽然从2005年开始,兖矿在开阳的煤化工项目便已规划完成,2007年与德国科林公司签订气化技术转让合同,而后的两年间一直在消化科林技术,但项目一直拖到2010年才得以开工建设。与此同时,与开阳项目一起被拖累的还有德国科林公司。作为煤化工最重要的环节——气化技术专利商,科林公司从2005年也开始进入中国市场,并在开阳项目的竞标中一举拿下订单。令当时的科林高管没想到的是,虽然早早在中国斩获了业绩——2台400WMth气化炉(日投煤1500t级),却在7年后才打通流程,稳定生产。

  在开阳项目艰难开工的几年间,中国煤化工产业发生了突飞猛进的进展。一时间,以煤制气、煤制油、煤制烯烃为代表的新兴煤化工在中国遍地开花,而作为现代煤化工工业流程中必经且投资最高的气化市场,也吸引了各路设备商的进驻。

  2012年,德国科林公司受生物质制油项目资金链断裂的影响,进行了资产重组,新的科林公司剥离了生物质制油和机械加工等业务板块,保留了煤气化和褐煤干燥等核心业务和技术骨干,而新科林公司的实际控股人也由原来的德国大众集团、宝马公司等股东,变为具有中国资本背景的投资人。

  在接手科林之前,单育兵一直从事煤炭设备的相关贸易,正是看中了巨大的市场机会以及对德国技术的信任和了解,他联合了几个投资人买下了德国科林公司。在买入科林之后的一段时间内,单育兵频繁往返于中德之间,对科林公司气化工艺包进行理解、吸收,并积极地在中国寻找合适的代工伙伴。

和科林公司一样,看好国内的气化市场的,还有各路能源巨鳄,其中有德国电力设备巨头西门子、世界第一大石油公司壳牌等,虽然气化业务在他们庞大的业务版图中只是冰山一角,但在气化领域的投入丝毫不亚于传统行业。让这些设备商看中的是,正是气化在整个煤化工产业链条中的投资比重以及未来广阔的市场前景。



据北京杰斯菲克气化技术有限公司(神华宁煤与西门子合资)技术部总经理霍锡臣介绍,气化设备投资大约占到整个煤制气项目投资比重的30%-40%,占煤制油项目总投资20%左右。

而根据规划,2015年煤制天然气产量将达到180亿立方米,2020年煤制天然气产量500亿立方米。2020年煤制油产能将达到3000万吨。

毫无疑问,如果斩获一个项目订单,对于设备商而言,带来的可能是上百亿的收入。在中国,现代煤化工发展催生了气化、空分、甲烷化等各个行业的爆发。然而,由于煤化工项目属于中国特色,因而,中国几乎成为了各路设备的集中试验厂。在仅仅投产的几个大型煤制气项目中,由气化环节引发的问题接连不断,给投资方造成了难以挽回的损失。气化技术到底有哪些?如何选择适合的气化技术成为了近一段时间行业内热议的焦点。

鲁奇炉与它的对手们

在煤化工产业链条中,煤气化技术是新型煤化工行业的基础。煤气化是通过煤直接液化制取油品或者在高温下气化制成合成气,再以合成气为原料制取甲醇、天然气、合成油等下游产品。据煤科总院煤化工分院副院长陈亚飞介绍,煤炭具有非均质化特点,同时在煤气化过程中产品以固、气、液三种形态共存,相较于石油化工过程也更为复杂。

对于煤气化技术分类方法较多,其中较为主流的分法是按照床型可分为固定床、流化床和气流床,而在现代煤化工中运用的最多即是固定床和气流床。固定床原料主要是以块(碎)煤为主,气流床原料主要是粉煤、水煤浆。

纵观煤气化发展历程,固定床工业化生产已经有近200年的历史,最早的常压固定床已经在19世纪30年代的苏联进行应用,最终产品是煤气。20世纪初期,流化床技术出现。30年后,气流床技术在德国出现。也就是在气流床出现的同期,南非沙索公司煤制油项目开始建设,由于当时流化床和气流床技术都不够先进,最终选择了固定床,主要是由德国鲁奇公司提供碎煤加压固定床技术。

事实上,鲁奇炉进驻中国市场的时间也非常之早。据资料显示,第一代鲁奇炉出现于20世纪30年代,主要用于褐煤气化,50年代我国原云南解放军化肥厂曾从苏联引进此种炉型。此后的很长一段时间,鲁奇在中国市场占据了绝对优势。第三代鲁奇炉(MK4)是世界上使用最广泛的炉型,在中国最早的一批传统煤化工项目都选择他们的产品,如原山西化肥厂、义马气化厂等均采用该炉型。

1978年,美国“大平原煤气化协会”联合几家公司成立达科他气化公司,在北达科他州建造世界第一个天然气合成厂,并于1984年投产,采用德国鲁奇公司开发MK4气化炉。经过30多年运转,大平原项目为中国煤制气发展提供了难得的借鉴。

除了固定床,水煤浆技术进入中国时间也较早。1989年,鲁南化肥厂引进了GE水煤浆技术,在经过多方调试近10年时间后,成功投产。随着水煤浆在中国推广,GE公司水煤浆气化技术成为了在中国工业化应用最早且使用业绩最多的气化技术,据统计,国内使用GE水煤浆气化技术的气化炉高达178台。

在中国传统煤化工领域,水煤浆和固定床有着很长一段的应用史。常压固定床使用量已经达到5000多,水煤浆气化技术经过我国科研、设计、生产、制造部门的多年研究,已基本掌握水煤浆气化技术,并能设计大型工业化装置,国产化率可达90%以上。

据山东兖矿国拓科技公司总工程师许广宇回忆,上世纪90年代水煤浆快速发展。但是水煤浆对煤种要求苛刻,要求成浆性好,不利于气化较高灰熔点的煤种。而我国新疆、内蒙、山西、贵州等富煤炭地区多数劣质煤种不适合该气化技术。随着国家对洁净煤技术发展的重视,2000年开始解决不适合水煤浆技术的地区发展问题。

2005年,中石化和壳牌签订协议,大批引进壳牌气化技术。由于当时宣传夸大,认为壳牌技术可以适用于一切煤种,最终导致一大批煤化工开开停停,效果不理想。因而,引发了对粉煤气化技术的质疑。

“兖矿集团当时考察科林、GSP等粉煤气化技术,用了两年时间研究行不行,希望本土化避免壳牌出现的问题。”兖矿集团开阳化工副总经理郭成太介绍说。

从2000年左右,新型煤化工在国内兴起,煤制烯烃、煤制气、煤制油等史无前例的大规模项目等待上马。在中国,煤炭资源丰富的另一面则是煤种复杂性,面对规模巨大的新型煤化工以及愈加复杂的原料,越来越多样的干煤粉气化技术的出现给气化市场带来新的冲击。科林、西门子这些外资企业带着自己的粉煤气化技术瞄准了几乎是世界上唯一的煤气化市场,向中国客户“兜售”好处。 在外资企业激烈争夺中国市场的同时,国内一批自主研发的气化技术也开始出现。其中以中国航天科技集团研发的HT-L技术(航天炉)、中国石化SE 东方炉气化技术(东方炉);华东理工大学开发的对置多喷嘴水煤浆气化技术、清华大学开发的水冷壁水煤浆气化技术等为代表。



在这场煤化工盛宴之中,既有外资巨头亦有国内新兴的制造商。毫无疑问,对于他们而言,这都是不能失去的市场份额。

  更值得一提的是,一批类似鲁奇炉的固定床加压炉在国内生产,并成功进驻了各大煤化工示范项目。

  随着近两年来一批新项目的投产,气化技术在中国愈加受到重视。而由气化技术延伸出的相关问题也让投资商心有余悸,特别今年3月内蒙古大唐国际克什克腾旗煤制天然气有限公司发生了一起爆炸事故引发了行业内普遍的悲观情绪。在一定程度上也影响了新项目的建设速度。

  “万能炉”谎言

  在“十一五”期间,国家发改委批准了大唐克旗40亿立方米/年、大唐阜新40亿立方米/年、庆华伊犁40亿立方米/年和汇能鄂尔多斯(7.38, 0.00, 0.00%)16亿立方米/年四个煤制气示范项目,近一段时间,已经相继开车。

  此前,美国大平原煤制气项目作为成功案例,接待了络绎不绝的参观者。在大平原项目中成功应用的碎煤加压固定床气化炉给前来参观的中方投资者留下深刻印象,被照搬到中国的四个煤制气示范项目中的三个项目中。

  而令中方投资者没想到的是,在国外项目近乎完成的固定床加压技术复制到中国项目中出现了水土不服。

  今年初,作为我国四个煤制气示范项目之一的大唐克旗煤制气项目在运行不到一个月后停车,引发了业界震动。其中主要原因就是煤质中碱性离子对气化炉内壁造成了腐蚀。

  除了克旗项目,其他一些煤制气项目中,或多或少都遇到了和克旗煤制气项目一样的问题。在新疆,同样使用固定床的广汇项目和庆华项目也遭遇到开车不顺的困境。

“煤制气项目出现的一系列问题。主要是对煤质研究不足造成的结果。没有哪一种技术可以适用所有的煤种。原料的性质决定气化路线。”在《能源》杂志采访中,业内专家均对记者如此感慨。“如果哪一种炉型告诉你可以适用所有煤种,可以确定这是一个谎言。”



虽然大家都普遍认识到“万能炉”并不存在,但长久以来,对于煤质问题的研究并未引起足够的认识。“煤气化技术的选型和气化方案的制订一定要结合项目所用的煤种,因而对煤炭气化机理及煤种适应性的研究至关重要。一个成熟的气化专利商一定不是在推销某种气化炉设备,而应该是针对项目所用煤种为业主提供一整套煤气化的解决方案。”科林公司技术总监刘崇国介绍说。

一般而言,在确定煤炭资源之后,气化炉设备商会将配对的煤矿放入炉内进行试烧,最终根据试烧数据确定是否适用。而在我国煤制气项目建设初期,对煤质研究重视不足,出现了试烧煤和工业化生产煤种变更等问题。

据记者了解,大唐克旗煤制气项目由于投产煤种和试烧煤种发生了变化,项目运转后出现了不适应情况,特别是褐煤里面蕴含的碱性金属离子,对气化炉内壁造成腐蚀,被迫停车。直到现在,这一问题还没有解决。

大唐能源化工有限责任公司总经理李克军在近日接受《中国煤化工》杂志采访中,也谈到褐煤对气化炉的腐蚀。“褐煤到底含有什么样的腐蚀性物质,各种含量多少?这些成分气化反应之后到底到系统有什么影响?对管线、设备会有什么样的腐蚀?现在都无法判断。”

气化技术选择如果忽视煤质将会给项目正常运转不断带来麻烦,造成难以挽回的损失。

“当然这和设备本身质量也有很大的关系。”陈亚飞对记者表示。

事实上,相较于粉煤气流床技术,固定床技术对原料要求相对高一些。据刘崇国介绍,固定床要求的原料是块煤,其机械强度和热稳定性等指标要求较为严格,在新疆、内蒙等富煤地区由于煤种的机械强度较差,煤矿机械化开采中块煤比例相对较少,而在保存和转运过程中又会有部分煤从块状变成粉状,造成大量的富余粉煤无法消化处理,项目经济性受到影响。

“克旗项目遇到的问题可能也是未来对整个行业的一个挑战,比如一个矿区,试烧煤矿的深度是有限的,但是随着开采深度加深,层级增加后的煤种可能发生变化,这也是一个比较尴尬的问题。”

据中海油新能源公司一名工程师介绍,固定床比较适合年轻煤如褐煤、长焰煤的气化,由于含水量高、成浆性低,不适宜采用水煤浆技术。但是由于年轻煤种含油量高、固定床技术能够回收焦油、苯酚等副产品,特别是固定床气化中甲烷体积分数更高,更合适煤制天然气项目。

“碎煤加压气化在前端转化时候就已经产出来甲烷了,但这个甲烷的浓度不等,一般10%到15%,实际上把一些甲烷化的力量转移到气化炉,降低后端甲烷化的负担。造成的结果是催化剂用量稍微少一些,催化剂塔装置变小。但是甲烷化整个这一套装置,其实就占整个煤制气装置的总投资的10%。甲烷化催化剂占总投资的1%到3%不等。因而,对于业主而言,节省的成本也不太明显。”托普索公司新技术部门经理赵秦聪介绍说。

在固定床使用中,另一个值得注意的问题是,后端污水处理难度较强。据李克军介绍,克旗项目污水处理系统出现了很大问题,耗一吨煤产生1吨多污水,含有苯酚、焦油等成分。如果想要达到水处理的理想效果,处理1吨污水花费高达137元。

在业内,大唐克旗项目后期对于水处理追加近20亿投资已经成为公开的秘密。据许广宇介绍,固定床洗煤水里面酚和焦油难处理,用生降法操作条件非常苛刻。同时,生物法占地面积大,时间比较长。在庆华新疆和克旗项目,厂区时常弥漫难闻的气味。

在新疆伊犁,庆华一期项目固定床的使用对于煤块的成煤性要求颇高,但机械化开采中,块煤较少。因而,在二期项目中,庆华集团将考虑采用粉煤气化技术,和一起固定床进行混合生产,提高煤炭的使用率。

这样一种方案也越来越多的被新项目所借鉴。在山西大同和鄂尔多斯地区,中海油未来开建的两个煤制天然气项目可能将采用两条技术路线——固定床和粉煤气化技术。5月中旬,几乎进军中国市场的各路煤粉气化专利商都赶赴新疆伊犁,向项目开发商展示自己的技术,而在竞相吸引对方注意的背后还有更深层次的竞争。

捆绑模式

对庆华这样的民营企业而言,煤化工市场的高额利润固然诱人,一旦出现大的设备故障,可能遭遇从富翁变成负翁的风险。

由于目前开工、投产煤化工项目进展不算顺利,影响了投资方进一步的开工热情,特别是对气化技术选择也更为慎重。

由于科林气化炉成功实现了贵州“三高劣质煤(高灰份、高灰熔点、高硫分)”的清洁高效转化,对那些拥有劣质煤炭资源的项目业主的来讲,仿佛又看到了一线希望。

“自从科林气化装置开车运行以来,前来公司参观考察的国内外公司越来越多,几乎每周都有几波参观团前来贵州开阳考察,就是想亲眼证实我们的气化炉运转情况。”郭成太说。

事实上,对于气化炉技术路线以及专利商的选择,业主一方面看中性价比,现在更为重要的是考量是否有运行项目。而其中,对于专利商而言,还有一种力量不能忽视,那就是设计院的推荐。

“很多业主对项目技术研究不深,之前和设计院都有往来,比较信任,选择和设计院一起考察专利商,因而推荐谁的技术至关重要。”据上述业内人士介绍。

在《能源》杂志采访中,业主和专利商均表示,无论业主选择哪条技术路线,设计院对于业主的选择影响分量比较重,特别是对于一些跨行业投资的业主。

“在选择炉型时,一是我们会和专利商交流,看他是否有业绩;二是也会参考设计院的意见。”上述中海油新能源公司人士透露。

因而,虽然各个专利商都表示没有和设计院签订排他性的战略合作协议,但毫无疑问,倾向性较为明显。

以大唐克旗一期项目和庆华新疆一期项目为例,均交由赛鼎工程有限公司,也就是原化学工业第二设计院承担工程设计工作,由于赛鼎公司拥有自主生产的炉型,因而在这两个项目中采用了赛鼎公司生产的碎煤加压气化炉。

一直以来,赛鼎公司在国内传统煤化工项目特别是焦化项目中占有优势,特别是一系列碎煤加压炉的应用为后期新型煤化工业务拓展打下了基础。

造成的结果是,赛鼎公司气化炉在销售方面具有天生的优势。据此前媒体报道,赛鼎公司在国内设计的用于煤制合成氨、甲醇、煤制油、煤制天然气等工程的碎煤加压气化炉已超过200套。

如此大的销售量,让在国内极力推荐自家技术的国外专利商望尘莫及。

鲁奇炉成为了碎煤加压气化炉的代名词。而克旗和庆华项目的投产结果,也让市场对碎煤加压气化炉的质量产生怀疑,引发了对鲁奇炉质量的担忧。

“事实上,在目前国内煤制气项目应用的气化炉和德国鲁奇公司没有丝毫关系,只是国内制造商在引进鲁奇技术后,对其消化吸收,研发的类似鲁奇炉的炉型。目前,国内鲁奇炉设计主要是赛鼎公司承担。投资方选择国产炉,一方面是设计院的推荐,另一方面是成本的考量。煤气化炉配上空分装置,可能会占到总投资的一半,甚至一半多,进口的气化炉可能是国内价格的三倍,如果说以20亿煤制气规模,可能一个项目就能差出20亿投资。”上述业内人士对记者称。

近期,德国鲁奇公司将最新研发的炉型Mark+推向中国市场,然而由于之前项目引发的误解对鲁奇的推广产生一定的负面影响。

在国内,东方炉的研发也受到了关注。SE东方炉是华东理工大学与中石化共同拥有、中石化具有主导权的SE气化技术。作为未来国内最大的煤化工投资商,中石化也在为项目开工建设做准备,特别是旗下的设计院力量已经比较成熟,加快气化炉研发有助于项目的推进。毫无疑问,随着东方炉量级不断加大,未来在中石化项目会有大批量的应用。

据业内人士介绍,目前国内除了赛鼎公司之外,对于煤化工设计涉猎较早的还有中国天辰工程设计院(原化工部第一设计院)。

“国内的每一个设计院有自己的特长,可能某个设计院做某种炉型是偏多的,现在国内的设计院天然形成了以炉型种类进行划分。”赵秦聪说。



以天辰工程设计院为例,近年来煤化工方面业绩突出,特别是大型水煤浆制合成气方面在国内占较大份额。另一家同属于中国化学工程集团的中国物化工程公司(即原化学工业部第四设计院)在传统的氮肥设计领域优势明显,近年来在现代煤化工方面先后承揽了以大唐多伦煤化工为代表的大型项目,同时国内粉煤加压气化(主要是SHELL技术)项目五环公司承揽了绝大部分。

  这也就意味着,基本上每种炉型都找到了属于自己的设计院。而在项目的角逐中,设计院的中标对于绑定专利商而言,无疑是最大的获利。

  造成的结果是,一家设计院对于项目的影响几乎是决定性的。但令上述中海油新能源公司人士担忧的是,一旦大家都找一家设计院,由于设计院资源相对有限,后来开工者是否享有较好的设计资源值得担忧。

  在内蒙古准格尔旗大路新区,河北建投集团、中海油、北京控股集团投资的120亿立方米煤制天然气项目选择同一家设计院——天辰。这也就是意味着,有限的设计资源将被同期三个项目分担。

  “像大唐跟庆华虽然是第一批项目,当时找的都是一家院,对于那个设计院来讲,工作量也是非常大的,但是,同一个院做可能会对全系统的平衡和能效的利用是有好处的。”

  因而,国内市场出现了将项目设计不同环节交予不同设计院的趋势。“国内的公司也在探索,如果业主自身的经验足够丰富了,工程设计可能不承包给一个院,他会分给各有专长的设计单位。”赵秦聪介绍说。在新疆霍城,中电投煤制气项目可能将以此模式进行,分包模式效果还有待时间检验。





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