Ethylene Glycol Manufacture Technology Description

Online Ethylene Glycol Data: Manufacture, Uses and Applications

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In this page you will find free data about Ethylene Glycol, including:

  • What is Ethylene Glycol
  • How to make Ethylene Glycol
  • Ethylene Glycol uses and applications

This page presents brief synopsis of Ethylene Glycol production technology, describing, in a concise way, relevant technical and economic aspects. Each manufacturing process description will consist of:

  • Major process steps
  • Simplified, schematic flow diagram & key equipment
  • Important safety or environmental considerations
  • Economic perspective, comprising capital expenditures and/or operating expenses

Ethylene Glycol Manufacture Technology from Ethylene

Monoethylene glycol (MEG), also known as ethylene glycol (EG) or simply glycol, is a diol mostly used for the production of polyester fibers and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resins. It is also used in antifreeze applications and in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. MEG is conventionally produced through the hydrolysis of ethylene oxide (EO), which itself is obtained via ethylene oxidation.

Technology Description

This simplified process flow diagram depicts MEG production from ethylene via a process similar to the OMEGA catalytic process from Shell Global Solutions (The Hague, the Netherlands; In the described process, MEG is produced via EO, which is manufactured in an integrated plant utilizing Shell EO technology. An important feature of the process is the negligible production of diethylene glycol (DEG) and triethylene glycol (TEG), which occur as byproducts in other ethylene glycol production processes.

Ethylene Oxide Production

Ethylene and oxygen are fed to a multi-tubular reactor, forming EO. This exothermic reaction, conducted in fixed beds in the reactor tubes, occurs in the gaseous phase with the use of a silver catalyst supported on alumina. Steam is generated by the heat of reaction.

Ethylene Oxide Recovery

The reactor product stream is fed to the ...

Ethylene Glycol Production and Purification

Ethylene oxide is reacted with CO2, forming ethylene carbonate, which is then hydrolyzed to form ...

Global Perspective

Manufacturing plants worldwide using Shell OMEGA technology

Shell OMEGA is the first process to enable ethylene glycol production via a fully catalytic process. According to the licenser, the process is able to achieve EO-to-EG converstion and selectivity near 100%, leading to production of MEG only.

However ...

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Ethylene Glycol Production from Synthesis Gas

Ethylene glycol, also known as monoethylene glycol (MEG), is a major chemical commodity, widely used in the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle-grade resins and polyester fibers. These materials, in turn, are used to manufacture textiles, soft drink and water bottles, tire cords and more.

MEG was first synthesized via the hydrolysis of ethylene glycol diacetate. Now, it can be made from multiple raw materials, such as coal, natural gas and ethylene. Globally, it is mainly produced from ethylene via an ethylene oxide intermediate. This process generates diand tri-ethylene glycol along with MEG.

Technology Description

This simplified process flow diagram depicts MEG production from synthesis gas (syngas), a gaseous mixture of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2). CO is first converted to dimethyl oxalate (DMO), which is then hydrogenated to form ethylene glycol.


The CO and H2 in the feed syngas are separated. The recovered CO is fed to the ...

DMO hydrogenation

The DMO-rich stream is fed to the hydrogenation reactors ...


The purification system consists of a series of ...

Nitrite regeneration

The recovered NO stream from the carbonylation section is mixed with ...

Economic Performance

Variable costs (raw materials and utilities) for manufacturing ...

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