Aither Chemicals, which has developed a proprietary ethane “cracker” technology, has acquired new partners in support of its effort to fund and build petrochemical plants within the region containing Marcellus shale natural gas reserves.
The nonprofit organization Renewable Manufacturing Gateway (RMG) announced it would work with Aither over the next five years to raise as much as $750 million in capital. The project is expected to create over 2,000 construction jobs, 200 permanent direct production jobs, and several thousand indirect jobs.
From RMG’s press release:
Aither’s technology uses a patent-pending catalytic cracking method instead of steam cracking to make ethylene. Aither will then convert the ethylene to higher-value chemicals which are easier to ship to customers locally and worldwide. The advantages of Aither’s catalytic cracking technology (compared to steam cracking and other chemical processes) include: lower capital cost, lower operating cost, shorter time to commercial operation, better scalability, and an overall simpler process to produce higher-value products. In compliance with the principles of “green chemistry,” clean catalytic cracking technology consumes 80 percent less energy than steam cracking technology, and produces 60 percent less CO2 output.