Safety and Techno-Economic Analysis of Shale Gas to Butadiene Process
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The recent discoveries of substantial reserves of shale gas have significantly impacted butadiene production and prices. Shale gas offers a competitive feedstock that can be used to produce a variety of chemicals and petrochemicals, including butadiene. The scope of this thesis is to examine the financial and technical viability of converting shale gas to butadiene and design a cost-effective, safe and environmentally friendly process. Traditional and innovative butadiene production routes were investigated and a base case was created for producing butadiene from shale gas via ethylene as an intermediate. Computer-aided process simulation (Aspen Plus) was used to design the process and to obtain the data necessary for economic evaluation and safety analysis. Two design scenarios were considered and compared in terms of profitability and safety risk level. Hazard Identification and Ranking (HIRA) system was selected to compare risk levels of each scenario since it gives quantitative results for each unit. Additionally, with the help of sensitivity analysis, the impact of price volatility of butadiene on the process profitability was evaluated. The results of this study show that there is a trade-off between profitability and risk level. Therefore, none of the scenarios are superior to others in terms of both economic and safety considerations.
Ozinan, Ecem (2017). Safety and Techno-Economic Analysis of Shale Gas to Butadiene Process. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from