Sasol Starts Basic Engineering for Tetramerisation Technology

South African oil, gas and chemical firm Sasol has started basic engineering for the first commercial installation of its tetramerisation technology.

The tetramerisation process, developed in Sasol's R&D laboratories in South Africa, involves four ethylene molecules reacting to produce one octene molecule.

The first commercial unit, expected to start production in 2013, will produce 100,000t/y of 1-octene and 1-hexene, Sasol said.

US company Jacobs Engineering is expected to complete the basic engineering work by the third quarter of 2010, and construction will begin in 2011.

Octene is used primarily as a comonomer in the production of high-performance linear low-density polyethylene resins, elastomers, acids and alcohols.