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Module 1: La industria petroquímica - actividad

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La producción industrial de eteno

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XSIQ
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Chemistry - The industrial production of ethene

The industrial production of ethene

Ethene, also known industrially as ethylene, is the leading synthetic
organic chemical in terms of tonnage production. Its production and
conversion to other chemicals is a central part of the petrochemical
industry. Ethene is cheap, relatively easy to produce and chemically
versatile. Ethene does not occur naturally to any significant extent, and
may be synthesised by cracking a variety of saturated hydrocarbons,
obtained from natural gas or via fractional distillation of petroleum. The
products of cracking depend on:

(i) the nature of the _feedstock_ used

(ii) the reaction conditions -_ temperature, pressure_ and _time _spent in
the reaction furnace

The two most commonly used feedstocks for ethene production are:

(i) gas oil (a mixture of alkanes with between 15 and 25 C atoms per
molecule) and

(ii) mixtures of ethane and propane

At the simplest level, _thermal (steam) cracking_ of an alkane produces an
alkene and either a smaller alkane or hydrogen.

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