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Ethylene oxide licensing

About the technology

Shell Global Solutions works with customers to develop safe, cost effective designs that are tuned to meet local market conditions and customers' needs. The organisation is one of the market's leading Ethylene Oxide (EO) /EG process licensors. Since 1958, Shell has licensed over 70 EO/EG processes worldwide. Many of these plants are still in commercial operation. Moreover, the Shell Group is a major producer of EO and EG through its production facilities in Canada, China, the Netherlands, Singapore and the USA.

CRI is the leading EO catalyst producer and a pioneer in the industry. For more than 50 years, CRI and Shell have led the industry in improving the performance and lifespan of EO catalysts. Over 50% of the world's current EO production is manufactured using a CRI EO catalyst.

Shell EO/EG process support

Shell remains committed to process licensees after the plant has been successfully started up with CRI catalyst. Here are some of the process services available to licensees:

  • Debottlenecking studies
  • Revamps
  • Process safety updates
  • Process improvements
  • Global exchange meetings (hosted jointly with CRI)

Master process

Shell is the world's leading process licensor of EO/EG Technology. Shell-designed plants produce 40% of the world's glycol. Shell has pioneered many of the advances in EO/EG process technology. The Shell MASTER process has been proven over many years to be safe, flexible and cost-effective. Features of the Shell MASTER process include:

  • Optimal reactor conditions to maximise performance of CRI's High Selectivity catalysts
  • Heat and energy integration
  • Advance process control and safety shutdown systems
  • Compliance with the strictest environmental standards
  • High purity EO and EG
  • Conventional thermal hydration process for the production of MEG, DEG, and TEG
  • Flexible, customised designs to meet desired product slates

Performance data

The Shell MASTER process makes use of CRI's latest high-selectivity EO catalyst that can run for three years at about 90% average selectivity. Longer run lengths can also be accommodated. The process co-produces DEG and TEG. The MEG yield is typically 90–92%, depending on customer requirements.

Business value

As every plant is tailor-made and tuned to customer wishes and local conditions and constraints, capital investment costs will vary from plant to plant. In 2004, the capital cost of a 600-kt/y MEG unit was estimated at $120–160 million for the inside-battery limits portion, but prices have fluctuated significantly since. After plant start-up, Shell and CRI will continue to provide operational support. Process design studies relating to plant modifications or debottlenecking can also be accommodated.

How can we help?

More in About CRI Catalyst

Technical Services

CRI’s technical specialists are located globally to provide proactive technical support to our catalyst customers.

Research & Development

Research and development is conducted utilising CRI and Shell resources in Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Houston (USA), CRI Leuna (Germany) and Bangalore (India).

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