Propylene Production

Pyrolysis/Steam Cracking

Lummus Technology’s proprietary ethylene steam cracking process is the most widely-applied process for the production of polymer grade ethylene, polymer grade propylene and butadiene. The process is noted for its performance, including high product yield and energy-efficiency, low investment cost and operating reliability. Plant owners have selected this technology for more than 200 projects, accounting for over 40 percent of worldwide ethylene capacity. Lummus Technology's worldwide experience encompasses plants designed for ethylene capacity up to 1,450,000 MTA and feedstocks from ethane through gasoils.


The family of high capacity SRT® pyrolysis furnace modules are designed for short residence time and low pressure drop, which maximizes olefins yield. Three SRT furnace designs are offered, allowing for the site-specific optimization of investment cost, yield and run length. The latest-generation SRT VII provides the highest yield for all feedstocks and results in an easy-to-operate and robust mechanical design. The patented, close-coupled, single-stage Quick Quencher transfer line exchanger (TLE) offers significant operating and cost advantages over competing designs. A unique firebox design called the SRT X allows for single heater capacities in excess of 300 kta of ethylene and can be utilized in new designs or expansion projects where plot space is limited.

The new, energy-efficient olefins recovery system is a step out from conventional technology. It minimizes capital investment by reducing the number of compressor casings by 40 percent and eliminating up to 25 percent of the equipment pieces used in a conventional system. Its key features are a low pressure chilling train that operates at less than half the operating pressure of a conventional flow scheme, and the tertiary refrigeration system that produces refrigeration from 40 degrees Celsius to minus 140 degrees Celsius in a single refrigeration system instead of the three systems used in a conventional design. The lower piece count also reduces maintenance costs and improves reliability.   

All plants meet designed capacity and exceed guaranteed performance. Average on-stream time is well above the industry average at nearly 99 percent. Time between turnaround averages five years with some plants achieving eight to 10 years.

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