Polymers and higher olefins: the economics?

This data-file captures the economics of polymerizing or oligomerizing unsaturated feedstocks (such as ethylene), in order to make plastics and higher olefins.


Our base case for producing high density polyethylene (HDPE) from ethylene requires pricing of $1,250/ton for a 10% IRR on a new greenfield plant.

CO2 intensity runs at 0.3 tons of CO2 per ton of product, and can be c80-90% lower than the prior step of ethane cracking.

However conditions can vary vastly, from 50-300C and 50-25,000 psi, for different polymers and processes. Different options can be stress-tested in the model, backed up by technical data, past projects and our notes.

Global plastics: an overview?

A breakdown of the global plastics industry, from several recent academic papers. This data-file shows the rise of global plastic use since 1950, recent plastic use by end-product, recent plastic use by end-plastic (e.g., polyethylene, polypropylene, polyamides, PET, PVC), and plastics’ fate after their use. This includes the proportion of plastics that are improperly disposed of, including those that reach the sea, estimated by country. (Not all data are current, and some charts stop at 2015-16).

Copyright: Thunder Said Energy, 2022.