Process Economics Program Report 70
Ethylene Glycols, Glycol Ethers and Ethanolamines
Published: August 1971
This report covers the technology and costs of manufacturing three of the major groups of derivatives of ethylene oxide: the ethylene glycols, the ethylene glycol monoethers (methyl, ethyl, and n-butyl), and the ethanolamines. The report is limited to a consideration of the three lowest homologs in each group (i.e., ethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, and triethylene glycol, for example).
These products constitute important chemical commodities. They are produced on a large scale under competitive conditions in many industrialized countries. They have a wide range of end uses, ranging from automotive antifreeze to raw materials for synthetic fibers and surfactants, to solvents for protective coatings. Despite this, little has been published describing their manufacture or manufacturing economics in any detail.
In general, plants for manufacturing the ethylene oxide derivatives are built and operated in conjunction with the oxide-producing facilities, which offers certain advantages such as heat integration. Nevertheless, in the present report, the oxide-consuming processes and plants are considered as separate entities, with ethylene oxide being charged in as a raw material. One section of the report does consider the economics of an integrated oxideglycol installation, however.