What are the challenges in the ethylene industry?
Ethylene producers are facing multiple challenges to maximise the profitability of their process. Whether that is adapting to feedstock change or to more stringent regulations on energy efficiency, producers are being forced to de-bottleneck the existing process by implementing minimal changes to the existing equipment while maximizing capacity at the same time. Located at the heart of the ethylene production process, the compressor and its performance are key to achieving these goals.
Centrifugal compressors and their driver may operate below their optimal design conditions, which are off-design from the original peak efficiency. However, there has also been a significant improvement in centrifugal compressor performance over the last 15 years due to advancements in aerodynamics computing which, in turn, have resulted in efficiency and/or capacity improvement by up to 15% on equivalent centrifugal compressor designs.