Researchers at the Texas University has found a new copper compound that can be used to purify ethylene for use as raw material in manufacturing plastics such as polyethylene or PVC. It can be also used for manufacturing other industrial compounds. Most importantly, the researchers have filed a provisional patent application for their new copper compound.
Ethylene is commonly attained as a mixture containing ethane and is also produced from crude oil. Technologies that are currently available to separate ethylene and ethane require high levels of energy and need huge capital investments, said a famous UTA university professor of chemistry and biochemistry Rasika Dias.
He also added by saying, this novel technology uses a copper compound which capable to selectively absorbing ethylene in the solid state and leaves ethane out by using the minimum amount of energy.
In addition, absorption of ethylene done by this new technology is easily reversible; therefore, the absorbed ethylene can be recovered and released using pressure changes or mild temperature. This result in regeneration of the starting copper complex that can utilize several times.
Explaining their technology further, Dias said that this technology is very energy-efficient and highly sustainable and could be a path-breaking discovery for separating olefins like ethylene and propylene from paraffins. Currently, separation of olefins such as propylene and ethylene from paraffins accounts of 0.3n percent energy used worldwide, which is almost equal to Singapore’s annual energy consumption.