For the first time in our country! “Oil conversion” technology successfully realized industrial application

Science and Technology Daily reporter Qu Jian

Sinopec announced on November 17 that its key research project “Technology Development and Industrial Application of Light Crude Oil Cracking to Ethylene” has been successfully piloted in Tianjin Petrochemical Industry, which can directly convert crude oil into ethylene, propylene and other chemicals (ie ” “Oil conversion”), realized the first domestic industrial application of crude oil steam cracking technology, with a chemical yield of nearly 50%, and greatly shortened the production process, reduced production costs, and reduced carbon dioxide emissions.


According to Sinopec, the crude oil steam cracking technology to be industrialized this time is one of the routes of “oil conversion”. It “skips” the traditional crude oil refining process and directly converts crude oil into chemicals such as ethylene and propylene, which is equivalent to Maizi Province. Without the intermediate link of grinding into flour, it is directly made into bread. This will greatly shorten the production process, reduce production costs, and significantly reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. At present, only ExxonMobil and Sinopec in the world have successfully realized the industrialized application of this technology.

The technology was developed and engineered by the Beijing Research Institute of Chemical Industry and Engineering Construction Co., Ltd. under the Sinopec Organization, and industrial trials were carried out in Tianjin Petrochemical. At present, it has applied for 45 Chinese invention patents and 1 international invention patent. It is estimated that for every 1 million tons of crude oil processed by this technology, nearly 500,000 tons of chemicals can be produced, including nearly 400,000 tons of high-value products such as ethylene, propylene, light aromatics, and hydrogen. The overall technology has reached the international advanced level and has economic value. huge.


It is reported that ethylene is known as the “mother of petrochemical industry” and is an important indicator of the development level of a country’s petrochemical industry. Usually, the raw materials required for the production of ethylene and propylene need to go through the crude oil refining process of the refinery, the production process is long, and only about 30% of the crude oil is used to produce chemical raw materials.

In April 2021, the catalytic cracking technology of crude oil independently developed by Sinopec Research Institute of Petrochemical Technology-another “oil conversion” technology route, realized the world’s first industrial application in Yangzhou, making my country a leader in the world’s crude oil catalytic cracking technology . Same as the crude oil steam cracking technology this time, its chemical output is also about 50%. The combination of the above two technologies is expected to increase the total amount of chemicals produced by crude oil to more than 70%, which will become an economically feasible technical route for “oil conversion” in the future.

Wang Zizong, deputy chief engineer of Sinopec, revealed that in the next step, Sinopec plans to develop and design a complete set of technology for steam cracking of 1 million tons of crude oil to produce ethylene at Tahe Refinery in Xinjiang, and build an “oil conversion” industrial demonstration device.

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