World’s largest coal chemical project starts in Shaanxi



The world’s largest coal chemical project under construction successfully kicked off a demonstration project in Yulin, Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, with polyester grade ethylene glycol products rolling off production lines. The project is expected to lower the country’s imports of related products and improve the quality of high-end chemicals.

The coal chemical demonstration project is designed to produce 1.8 million tons of ethylene glycol products per year, according to a statement released by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC) on Monday.

The project was constructed by a subsidiary of Shaanxi Coal and Chemical Industry Group Co. After three years of construction, it was completed in April and started preparation for production. At present, there is a complete production chain for ethylene glycol products, said the statement.

With total investment of 26.5 billion yuan, the project’s main product is 1.8 million tons of polyester grade ethylene glycol per year, and its by-products are 79,000 tons industrial grade dimethyl carbonate (DMC), and others.

Ethylene glycol is widely used as an antifreeze agent in coolant or a wetting agent in leather and adhesive.

China has become the largest ethylene glycol consumer in the world, with growing imports of related products in spite of increasing domestic production, media reports said.

According to a report published on the website of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the “coal-to-ethylene glycol” technology was independently developed by Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Materials under the CAS in 2009.

Replacing oil ethylene with coal to produce ethylene glycol can help to boost the production and domestic supply of ethylene glycol, while also improving the level of efficient and clean transformation and utilization of coal resources, the report said.

The technology also helps to address the nation’s resource conditions of having a shortage of oil and gas and an abundance of coal resources, it added.

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