Methanol to Olefin (MTO) Value Chain Management

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Industrial Management, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran


The global methanol market size was USD 27.95 Billion in 2020 and is projected to grow from USD 28.74 billion in 2021 to USD 39.18 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 4.5% during the 2021-2028 period. The methanol-to-olefins (MTO) reaction is one of the most important reactions in C1 chemistry, which provides a chance for producing basic petrochemicals from nonoil resources such as coal and natural gas. As olefin-based petrochemicals and relevant downstream processes have been well developed for many years, MTO is believed to be a linkage between coal or natural gas chemical industry and modern petrochemical industry. Many institutions and companies have put great effort to the research of MTO reaction since it was first proposed by Mobil Corporation in 1977. Getting ethylene and propylene from methanol by the MTO process represents a major progress in chemical technology in recent years. This paper deals with the conceptual design of an energy efficient and cost-effective MTO process. Hence, we try to introduce the basic value chain management of Methanol to Olefin Process and hope to give the researcher a holistic approach to develop this research by mathematical modeling, system thinking approaches and so on. The economic evaluation results revealed that the conversion of methanol to olefins is more attractive for investment than the sale of crude methanol. The development of methanol to olefins units is more economical than constructing a new gas to ethylene, polyethylene and propylene unit because of the lower investment costs.


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