Honeywell to control coal-to-plastic plant in China

  • December 04, 2015
  • Honeywell Process Solutions
  • News

December 4, 2015 - LUXI Chemical Group selected Honeywell process technology and automation controls to convert coal to key plastic building blocks.

LUXI will use Honeywell UOP’s Advanced Methanol-to-Olefins (MTO) process to convert methanol derived from gasified coal into 293,000 metric tons per year of ethylene and propylene at its facility in Liaocheng, Shandong Province, China. The operations will be managed by a suite of automation and control technologies from Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS).

Global demand for ethylene and propylene is growing 4 to 5 percent per year. Traditionally, these petrochemicals are produced from crude oil. The MTO process allows producers in regions without abundant domestic supplies of crude to produce the key plastics building blocks from natural gas or coal, which are often more abundant and cheaper.

“The technology to turn methanol from coal into plastics has been well-proven in China, which is expected to invest more than $100 billion in coal-to-chemicals technology in the next five years,” said Mike Millard, vice president and general manager of UOP’s Process Technology and Equipment business. “Eight companies in China have chosen UOP’s Advanced MTO technology, representing a total capacity of nearly 3.2 million metric tons per year.”

The automation and control systems at the plant, which will be supplied by HPS, contain proprietary UOP operating models to improve operating efficiency. The suite of solutions includes the Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS) and Safety Manager.

“Combining UOP process technology with HPS automation and controls will help LUXI maximize its return on investment for the entire project lifecycle – from startup to reaching and maintaining peak performance,” said Aldous Wong, HPS vice president, Greater China. “As competition continues to grow, it is critical that facilities maximize production while lowering total cost of ownership.”

Honeywell UOP’s Advanced MTO process combines the UOP/Hydro MTO process and the Total/UOP Olefin Cracking process to significantly increase yields and feedstock efficiency. The process converts methanol from coal and natural gas into ethylene and propylene. At the heart of the technology are UOP’s proprietary catalysts, which make it possible to efficiently adjust the ratio of propylene and ethylene produced, so operators can most effectively meet demand for those products. In addition, the Advanced MTO process offers the lowest operating cost, quick and efficient start-up, and operational reliability.

Experion PKS is the heart of the Integrated Control and Safety Systems (ICSS), which offers more than traditional distributed control systems (DCS), enabling seamless integration of all process control and safety systems and automation software under one unified architecture. Safety Manager integrates process safety data, applications, system diagnostics and critical control strategies, and executes defined safety applications in a fully redundant architecture.

Honeywell is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes, and industry; turbochargers; and performance materials. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit

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