Chemical plants convert oil, natural gas, air, water, metals and minerals into chemical products. Chemicals that are derived from petroleum or natural gas are called petrochemicals. These chemicals are typically extracted during the refining process as crude oil and natural gas liquids are cracked or distilled. Petrochemicals can be divided into two common classes: olefins (butadiene, ethylene, and propylene) and aromatic (benzene, toluene, and xylene isomers). Oil refineries produce olefins and aromatics by fluid catalytic cracking of petroleum fractions. Chemical plants take natural gas liquids (ethane, propane and butane) from a gas processing plant and use a steam cracking process to produce olefins. Aromatics are produced by catalytic reforming of naphtha. Olefins and aromatics are the basic components for a wide range of materials such as solvents, detergents, and adhesives. Olefins are the basis for polymers and oligomers used in plastics, resins, fibers, elastomers, lubricants, and gels. Polymers and plastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene terephthalate, polystyrene and polycarbonate make up the vast majority of the chemical industry’s output worldwide.
Chemicals are used to manufacture numerous consumer products (health care, pharmaceuticals and electronics) and play an important part in the agriculture (pesticides), manufacturing (solvents), construction (roofing materials), and service industries (cleaning/janitorial supplies). Corken’s reciprocating gas compressors, sliding vane pumps, turbine pumps, and side channel pumps are used to load and unload all of these chemicals when they are stored and transported. For more information on Corken’s compression and pumping solutions for the chemical and petrochemical markets, click on one of the links below:
Chemical & Petrochemical Processing Plants