Mastering Catalyst Selectivity and Stability

Shell Catalysts & Technologies is the world’s leading licensor of ethylene oxide/glycol technology. Shell’s affiliates are also among the world’s largest ethylene oxide (EO) producers and are significant global ethylene glycol (EG) manufacturers.

Shell has issued licenses for 89 EO/EG plants worldwide, 53 of which are still operating. Nearly 40% of the world’s EO is produced in Shell-licensed and designed plants. More than 50% of the world’s EO is made using Shell Catalysts & Technologies’ catalysts .

Since the inception of the technology itself, Shell Catalysts & Technologies has been a pioneer in the industry, constantly innovating to develop new catalysts and processes for EO production.

One of these processes is the Shell MASTER process, which is based on catalytic conversion of ethylene to EO and thermal conversion of EO to EG. In the Shell MASTER process, EO and water are converted to glycols by thermal hydration in a tubular reactor. This process yields roughly 8–10% diethylene glycol (DEG) and triethylene glycol (TEG). The MEG yield depends on operating factors, particularly the amount of water used in the reaction. Excess water is removed by multiple-effect evaporation, and the individual glycol products are then recovered and purified by distillation.

Shell offers two versions of the MASTER process, each optimised around a family of industry-leading catalysts. MASTERHS is optimised around the latest High Selectivity (HS) Shell catalysts, while MASTERHP offers a lower capex solution and operates at higher work rates by leveraging the exceptional stability of Shell’s High Performance (HP) catalysts.

Both the Shell MASTER process and the Shell OMEGA process are based on and optimised around the use of state-of-the-art Shell EO catalysts with high selectivity and high stability that have enabled many operators to achieve at least three years of operation between catalyst changes at an average catalyst selectivity of about 90%.

Shell Catalysts and Technologies scientist working in a lab

Get longer run lengths and above 90% average selectivity with Shell MASTER.

The Shell MASTER process makes use of the latest EO catalysts that many operators have run for three years at above 90% average selectivity. Longer run lengths can also be accommodated. The MEG yield can be 90–92%, depending on customer requirements.

Shell is the world's leading process licensor of EO/EG technology. Shell-designed plants produce 40% of the world's glycol. Shell has pioneered many of the advances in EO/EG process technology. The Shell MASTER process has been proven over many years to be safe, flexible and cost-effective. 

Features of our MASTER process include heat and energy integration, advanced process control and safety shutdown systems, enabling operators to comply with the relevant environmental standards. As Shell affiliates are also owners and operators of our technologies, we work with customers to design highly specific solutions based on our collective drive for profitability.

OMEGA Process

Shell’s OMEGA process for producing mono-ethyleneglycol (MEG) from ethylene, has enabled operators to achieve a conversion efficiency of over 99%.

Contact Shell Catalysts & Technologies

Contact Shell Catalysts & Technologies to meet the challenges petrochemical plants face with confidence.