What are the characteristics of Ethane:
CAS Number: 74-84-0
Molecular Formula: C2H6
Molar Mass: 30.1 g/mol
Composition: C (79.9%) H (20.1%)
Boiling Point: 88.6°C
Melting Point: 182.8°C
Density: 1.37 g/l
The History Of Ethane
Ethane has a long history but for many years, it was the forgotten gas. When working with electrolysis, famed English scientist Michael Faraday mistook the hydrocarbon compound for methane in 1834. Another error, just a decade later, resulted in a separate set of scientists once again misidentifying the compound as methyl. It was not until 1864 that ethane was correctly identified.
How Ethane Is Produced
When first produced, oil and natural gas must be processed to remove various impurities. Natural gas processing removes hydrocarbons like ethane, butane, propane and other hydrocarbons, as well as water and other impurities from the gas stream. Once separated, the valuable hydrocarbons are further refined and sold for various purposes including fuel and feedstock. It is important to note that ethane and other hydrocarbons are not always removed from the gas stream, as it is a costly process to separate the hydrocarbons from methane.
Today, ethane is a feedstock in many petrochemical processes, and is considered a valuable commodity. Regardless, energy economics ultimately drive whether ethane is removed and sold or whether it remains in the gas stream and is burned by the end user. If ethane is not removed, it becomes a wasted resource, which is not in the interest of energy producers and manufacturers.
Recent advances in drilling techniques have resulted in increased production of energy resources throughout the U.S. As a result, prolific supplies of the commodity are rejuvenating American manufacturing and creating the first opportunity to export ethane globally.
What Are the Benefits of Ethane?
Ethane is a clean burning fuel and can be liquefied at a higher temperature, which decreases infrastructure transport costs. As a result, ethane is being looked to as a more efficient fuel source for fast growing and developing countries.
What are the Benefits of Ethane for Ethylene Production?
- Ethane is the preferred stock for ethylene production with the highest yield of up to 82% in modern ethane-to-ethylene steam crackers.
- Ethane is more feasible than naphtha due to its price formula structure, unlinked from crude oil prices.
- American Ethane Company provides long-term supply from reliable sources via controlled supply chain, so the customer is assured of the ethane supply to its steam cracker.
What Are the Benefits of Ethane for Power Generation?
- In some markets with lack of infrastructure or limitation of capacity, Ethane is more affordable than LNG for power generation due to cheaper liquefaction, transportation and regasification costs.
- LEG is more feasible than LNG for power generation due to its price formula structure, unlinked from crude oil prices.
- American Ethane Company provides long-term supply from reliable sources via controlled supply chain, so the customer is assured of the ethane supply to its power plant.