Case Studies

Introduction to the PX Project and the Sustainable Development of China Oil Industry

The full name of PX is xylene, which is a kind of chemical aromatic hydrocarbon, can be achieved through the oil refining and chemical engineering. PX(aromatic oil) is a globally urgent need of chemical products. In recent years, the world of PX(aromatic oil) production increased year by year, China is also stepping up research on its development.

In recent years, although the PX(aromatic oil) production was substantial, but it still can't meet the requirements of our country at present. PX/(aromatic oil )production has the serious influence to the rapid and stable development of our national economy. For PX toxicity, scientists at home and abroad for its word for "Micro toxic and controllable".

1. PX play important position and role in aromatic hydrocarbons industry chain

PX(light aromatics) is a worldwide important chemical raw materials. PX is made to terephthalic acid through high temperature antioxidant. It is important raw material to be made to the synthesis of polyester, polyester is further used in the manufacture of polyester fiber and the fiber with polyester. The polyester fiber is including of polyester bottles, packaging film and other purposes of polyester, polyester fiber is one of the most important synthetic fiber, fiber polyester also has a very wide range of uses, it’s of great help to the life of people, it can be produced to drinking water bottles and so on. Therefore, PX(aromatic oil) in chemical production play a very important role in people's everyday life.

2.PX(aromatic oil) production in our country

In 1965 our country started to research production of aromatic oil, it has been for nearly 50 years of production history. Its production process is roughly divided into three stages: the start-up phase, aromatics industry chain development stage, PX(polyester) industrial center stage in the world.

(1) The start-up stage (1965 ~ 1965)

In 1965, Daqing oilfield enter into aromatics production equipment - platforming device, the device is completely self R&D facilities in China. During the period of 1965 ~ 1978, our country has spent 12 sets of equipment, the main production of chemical raw materials is aromatic hydrocarbon, that further make up vacancies on the output of domestic oil aromatic, with a small amount of product will be as gasoline harmonic part, it can help build our country's national economy and national defense.

(2) The aromatics industry chain development stage (1976 ~ 1997)

Since 1976, our major petrochemical enterprises put into production of ethylene cracking facility in succession, produced the new raw material resources, and offers new methods for the production of hydrocarbon oil. During this period, the PX (aromatics oil) and reached a new level, to fill the demand of commodity production in China.

(3) The PX(polyester) industrial world center stage (1997 - present)

Since 1997, with the support of new method for aromatic hydrocarbon refining, PX has developed rapidly in our country, the capacity can achieve large production speed, its production scale and development level also increased significantly, but the present PX(aromatic hydrocarbon) production fell far short of our country's current production demand.

3. PX/aromatic hydrocarbon toxicity

Aromatic hydrocarbons is the floorboard of the hydrocarbon containing benzene ring structure, it has a certain toxicity, the root cause is because of its benzene ring structure, caused by benzene rings a methyl toluene toxicity reduced, and more than two methyl dimethyl benzene cause to the toxicity is lower. According to the scientists found that a high concentration of benzene vapor have anesthesia effect, even lead to death, but xylene is not enough deadly. In addition, according to the international evaluation standard, there is not enough evidence to prove that can make people exist in the PX carcinogenic substances. Even in foreign countries, PX is not dangerous goods, only because of its stimulation on respiratory tract it’s listed as hazardous goods.

To sum up, the PX do not belong to the carcinogens in both toxicity, hazard mitigation and risk standards. At the same time, in the gasoline people often used contains a third of the light aromatics, although we contact automobile exhaust for a long time, but not appear a certain degree of health problems for exposure to xylene.

However, although the PX is safe relatively, low toxicity, but should cause a certain value. In the production of aromatic hydrocarbon and oil processing process, should pay attention to protect the environment, pay special attention to the production process of harmful byproducts to strengthen security measures and deal with "three wastes".

4. Strategic thinking for the sustainable development of oil industry in our country

(1)  PX(aromatic) have reasonable address oil factory

First of all, PX controllable means within the scope of the operation of the plant can be controlled, can arise through technical means to avoid the leakage of PX and environmental problems. At the same time, the PX tank safety standards should be arranged according to the seismic fortification of factory is located. Second, to strengthen the training and management staff, ensure the safety of PX plant can run smoothly. So, from the two aspects of production equipment and personnel, internal effective implementation of these measures in a factory, that can successfully control the PX toxicity, reduce injuries and economic losses.

(2) Strengthen the propaganda and communication with relevant government department

Since 2000, our country have some PX incident, it shows that the national economy came into the era of chemical industry and people gradually strengthened for their own health and the consciousness of environmental protection, the relevant government departments and relevant enterprises should seriously consider these problems. Although our country established a special department engaged in the research of chemical enterprise safety and environmental protection content, but because of the people for their lack of understanding, it’s hard to avoid resistance to PX(aromatic oil), the future government departments and relevant enterprises should strengthen communication with the masses, so as not to panic.

(3) Strengthen the relevant government departments for PX toxicity of popular science education

Experts at home and abroad for PX toxicity study concluded “Micro toxic and controllable”, and concrete practice also did prove it. PX underlie the current events, most of the reason is that the people of PX lack certain knowledge and understanding, unable to correctly recognize the PX the great role to the national economy. Therefore, the relevant government departments should be aimed at the masses intensify popularization PX related knowledge, and it is best to be familiar with this aspect by scientists. In this way, it not only make the people accepted the PX aspects of popular science education, and reduced the PX events .

5. Conclusion

PX production in our country and even the world plays an important role in economic development, it can bring enormous positive benefits. At present, the international petroleum chemical industry is very competitive, our country should grasp the competitiveness and good economic benefit project, step up development.


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