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Sulzer successfully starts up world’s largest pygas-to-styrene extraction unit

21st March 2023
Sulzer Chemtech (GTC Technology) has completed the start-up of the world’s largest facility for styrene extraction from pyrolysis gasoline (pygas) derived from naphtha cracking. Located in Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical Co., Ltd.’s (ZPC) integrated refining and petrochemical complex in Zhoushan, China, the unit uses Sulzer Chemtech’s proprietary GT-Styrene® licensed technology to produce 100’000 tonnes of styrene per year.

The new facility upgrades pygas, a by-product obtained from three steam crackers in Zhoushan’s plant, by extracting valuable styrene for use in the petrochemical industry. The process flexibility offered by GT-Styrene is enabling the plant to obtain high-quality ASTM 2827 grade styrene from three different units within a single train. This will help ZPC increase the overall profitability of its integrated refining and petrochemical complex.

ZPC selected Sulzer Chemtech due to its prior extensive experience in styrene extraction and positive outcome of previous collaborations. Sulzer Chemtech supported all stages of the project, from delivering a licensed Basic Engineering Package, to supplying proprietary equipment and chemicals, providing support during the detailed engineering phase, and successfully completing commissioning and startup of the unit.

Mr. Zhang Shoumin, Director of Olefin Separation Department at ZPC, adds: “Sulzer Chemtech is a leading licensor with a proven track record of implementing advanced pygas styrene extraction technology. Hence, the company and its GT-Styrene were an obvious choice. We are impressed with the level of support received throughout all stages of the project as well as the technology’s ability to meet product specification soon after start-up.”

Sander van Donk, Head Clean Fuels & Chemicals Licensing at Sulzer Chemtech, concludes: “We are delighted to have played a key role in this ambitious project. This was a successful deployment of GT-Styrene for the world’s largest pygas-based styrene extraction plant and demonstrates our ability to scale up process technology while achieving demanding performance objectives.”


Image 1: Sulzer has completed the start-up of the world’s largest facility for styrene extraction from pygas derived from naphtha cracking at Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical Co., Ltd.’s (ZPC) integrated refining and petrochemical complex.

Image 2: Thanks to Sulzer Chemtech’s GT-Styrene the new facility upgrades pygas by-product by extracting valuable, high-quality ASTM 2827 grade styrene for use in the petrochemical industry.

About Sulzer

Sulzer is a global leader in fluid engineering and chemical processing applications. We specialize in energy-efficient pumping, agitation, mixing, separation, purification, crystallization and polymerization technologies for fluids of all types. Our solutions enable carbon emission reductions, development of polymers from biological sources, recycling of plastic waste and textiles, and efficient power storage. Our customers benefit from our commitment to innovation, performance and quality through our responsive network of 180 world-class manufacturing facilities and service centers across the globe. Sulzer has been headquartered in Winterthur, Switzerland, since 1834. In 2022, our 12’900 employees delivered revenues of CHF 3.2 billion. Our shares are traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX: SUN).

The Chemtech division is the global market leader in innovative mass transfer, static mixing and polymer solutions for chemicals, petrochemicals, refining  and LNG. We are steering the way in ecological solutions such as bio-based chemicals, polymers and fuels, recycling technologies for textiles and plastic as well as carbon capture and utilization/storage, contributing to a circular and sustainable economy. Our product offering ranges from process components to complete process plants and technology licensing.

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Editorial Contact: Brittany Kennan

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