Aither Announces Open Season

by Aither Chemicals on June 21, 2012

Aither Chemicals LLC today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to launch an “Open Season” for ethylene from a potential catalytic ethane cracker in the Kanawha Valley region of West Virginia.

Aither’s agreement with Bayer MaterialScience LLC includes a non-binding Open Season to determine market interest for chemicals and plastics that would be produced by such a cracker. This could include ethylene, acetic acid, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide for sale at competitive market pricing or use in making downstream derivatives and other products such as ethylene oxide (EO). As part of the agreement Bayer would assist in the effort to evaluate third party interest in the chemicals stated above. Several ethane suppliers have expressed interest in supplying ethane to the project.

The Open Season will run from June 22 through July 20, 2012. Inquiries can be made by contacting Steven Cohen at Aither Chemicals, 614-336-7956 or

After the Open Season, Aither Chemicals will evaluate the market’s response and decide on next steps by August 31, 2012. The Open Season process is commonly used in the midstream energy business to determine market interest in new business opportunities.

If Aither decides to proceed with the proposed catalytic ethane cracker, production could begin in early 2015.

“The Memorandum of Understanding is a first step towards building a catalytic ethane cracker in the Kanawha Valley region and we are optimistic that the market will respond,” said Aither CEO Leonard Dolhert.

Aither Chemicals brings its proprietary, scalable technology to crack ethane and convert it into other products. Aither’s technology was developed to take better advantage of ethane from shale gas, and to simultaneously lower the cost of producing ethylene, acetic acid, ethylene derivatives and/or acetic acid derivatives and other chemicals and plastics. Unlike steam cracking, which uses heat and steam to crack ethane, Aither’s process is a catalytic cracking process that uses 80 percent less energy and produces 90 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2) output. Much of that CO2 and/or CO output can be captured as a pure gas and utilized for the manufacturing of chemical and polymer products or used in other applications. Products that can be made from an Aither cracker and associated downstream derivative operations include: ethylene, acetic acid, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ethylene derivatives such as ethylene oxide (EO), ethylene glycol (EG), polyethylene (PE, LLDPE, HDPE), acetic acid derivatives such as acetic anhydride, ethylene-acetic-acid derivatives such as vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA), and other ethylene derivatives and/or acetic acid derivatives. Aither is in the process of selecting a location to build its catalytic cracker.

Aither Chemicals plans to offer up to the following annual product volumes, or more if there is additional interest: 600 million pounds of ethylene, 300 million pounds of acetic acid, 80 million pounds of carbon dioxide, and 40 million pounds of carbon monoxide.

Renewable Manufacturing Gateway, a Pittsburgh-based financial advisory non-profit, will advise Aither on evaluating market response to the Open Season and financing production of the commercial catalytic cracker production plant.

Aither Commercial Contact:
Steven Cohen, 614-336-7956,


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