The price of ethylene is driven by a variety of factors and forces, including production and distribution, demand, supply and inventories, as well as global economic conditions. Despite its apparent simplicity to produce, the ethylene market is far from transparent and volatile.
Production and Distribution: Ethylene is a byproduct of the refining process and is not sold separately because the cost of transportation, storage and handling would be too great. This means that ethylene prices are highly dependent on the cost of the associated process of refining, which is in turn dependent on input costs, efficiency and availability of refineries, and whether the end-product would continue to be in demand.
The capacity and availability of ethylene production facilities also affects the overall production and distribution of the commodity, and thus, could potentially impact prices.
Demand: Changes in demand from the various worldwide industries that use ethylene in their production processes also affects the market prices of the commodity. Generally, if the demand for ethylene is strong, its market price may go up.
On the other hand, if there is low demand, its price may drop.
Supply and Inventories: Ethylene supplies are also determined by the distribution channels and availability of the commodity in addition to the availability of ethane feedstocks which are used to produce ethylene in the refinery.
A limited supply of ethylene as well as an increase in inventory can drive up the market prices of ethylene, while low inventory and low supply can push prices in the opposite direction.
Global Economic Conditions: The prices of ethylene products are also affected by global economic conditions and the global market dynamics. In times of economic slowdowns and low demand, the price of the commodity is usually affected adversely.
Similarly, during periods of robust economic growth and high demand, ethylene prices may be pushed higher.
Table of Contents
Who is the largest ethylene producer?
The largest ethylene producer in the world is Saudi Arabia’s oil and gas firm, Saudi Aramco. It produces more than 28 million metric tons of ethylene annually, accounting for 8 percent of the world’s total supply.
Saudi Aramco is also the world’s largest petroleum refining company and the world’s largest producer of polyethylene. Within Saudi Arabia, the biggest ethylene producer is SABIC, the nation’s largest industrial and petrochemical company, which produces more than 9 million metric tons annually.
Other big ethylene producers include Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron Phillips Chemical, LyondellBasell, Dow, and BASF. Generally, the United States, China, and Russia are the top three importers of ethylene, followed by India, South Korea, and Japan.
Who buys ethylene?
Ethylene is a major industrial chemical and is used to produce polyethylene, polystyrene and ethanol, among other products. As such, it is used in various industrial and consumer applications, from packaging and insulation to construction materials, food production and the manufacture of plastic.
Ethylene is typically bought by large chemical companies and industrial manufacturers, many of which use the chemical for their own production processes. Furthermore, ethylene is purchased by downstream chemical companies, who process the chemical into derivatives for use in paper, detergents and the pharmaceutical industry, among other applications.
Refineries, transportation companies and traders may also purchase ethylene.
Is ethylene a chemical?
Yes, ethylene is a chemical and it is classified as an organic compound. It is a hydrocarbon that is found in a variety of places including natural gas, crude oil and is also a key component of many plastics.
Ethylene is also a natural plant hormone and is involved in the ripening and development of fruit. It can be used in the production of a range of products including detergents, solvents, adhesives, refrigerants and antifreeze.
It is also used in the processes of polymerization, oxidation, hydration and hydrogenation.
What is the most common use of ethylene?
The most common use of ethylene is as a raw material in the production of chemical compounds used in a myriad of industrial processes. It is one of the most widely used chemicals in the world and is a key component in the production of a variety of plastics, detergents, and other chemicals.
For example, ethylene is used to make a variety of plastics, including polyethylene, the most widely used plastic, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) among others. It is also often used in the creation of synthetic rubber and various synthetic materials, such as fiberglass, as well as a wide range of resins and adhesives.
Additionally, ethylene is used to create various cleaning products, antifreeze, and other industrial chemicals. Finally, ethylene is also a precursor to ethanol, which is used as a fuel source in many vehicles.
What is ethylene used for in the food industry?
In the food industry, ethylene is used in a variety of ways to regulate the ripening process of certain fruits and vegetables. For example, ethylene can be used to trigger the ripening process of fruits such as avocados, bananas, and pears.
Ripening agents containing ethylene will be applied directly to a crop, either through spraying or gassing, to speed up the ripening process. This makes it possible for farmers and food manufacturers to provide better tasting produce to stores more quickly.
In addition to ripening produce, ethylene can also be used as an antioxidant. In this form, ethylene is used in preserving and freezing fruits and vegetables to increase their shelf life and inhibit contaminants from growing on the produce.
In the fresh-cut food industry, ethylene is also used to inhibit the browning process and ensure produce maintains its freshness. This form of ethylene is often the active ingredient in many irrigation systems used to keep crops hydrated before reaching the market.
Overall, ethylene can be an important part of ensuring fruits and vegetables reach their markets and destinations in the desired condition and ready for consumption.
How do humans use ethylene?
Humans use ethylene in a variety of ways. It is mainly used as a chemical intermediary in the production of other chemicals. Ethylene is used in the production of polyethylene, which is found in plastic bottles, packaging materials, and other everyday items.
The gas is also used in industrial processes such as ripening fruits, generating heat, and producing fuels and lubricants.
In agriculture, ethylene is used for plant growth regulation. It can be used to prevent pre-mature fruit drop, induce flowering and fruit maturation, and stimulate root growth. Ethylene is also used in the manufacturing of petrochemicals such as ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol, and vinyl chloride monomer.
It is used to make antifreeze, solvents, detergents, and other cleaning products.
In healthcare, ethylene is used for medical purposes such as sterilization, cryosurgery, and wound healing. It can also be used for tissue and organ preservation, as well as in gene therapy. In the food industry, ethylene is used to preserve food quality, increase shelf life, and treat undesirable ripening.
Overall, ethylene is an important industrial and agricultural commodity, and its uses are vast.
Is ethylene harmful to humans?
Yes, ethylene can be harmful to humans if exposed to it in high levels. Inhaling high concentrations of ethylene can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, and can even lead to dizziness and nausea.
Long term exposure can also affect the nervous system and cause potential damage to the lungs and liver. Ethylene exposure is also known to reduce fertility in humans and can also cause fetal abnormalities if inhaled during pregnancy.
Additionally, long term exposure to high concentrations of ethylene can lead to increased risk of cancer.
Is ethylene gas from fruit toxic?
The short answer is yes, ethylene gas from fruit can be toxic if it is present in high concentrations. Ethylene gas is an odourless, colourless gas produced naturally by certain fruits and vegetables as part of their ripening process.
It is relatively harmless when present at normal levels, but elevated concentrations can be detrimental to our health. Exposure to high levels of ethylene gas can cause eye and throat irritation, as well as nausea, chest tightness, headaches, dizziness, and confusion.
It can also exacerbate pre-existing respiratory problems. Therefore, it is important to limit exposure to ethylene gas when possible. In some cases, this might involve storing fruits and vegetables in separate containers and frequently checking to ensure hazardous levels of ethylene are not present.
Additionally, ethylene-sensitive fruits and vegetables should not be placed together, as they may magnify the hazardous effects of the gas.
What common products contain ethylene oxide?
Common products that contain ethylene oxide include antifreeze, detergents, shampoo, home cleaning products, plastic resins, adhesives and solvents, synthetic fabrics and textiles, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment and supplies.
Ethylene oxide is used as a sterilizing agent in medical products such as syringes, needles, gowns, bandages and surgical instruments in order to kill bacteria and germs. It is also used as a fumigant for some grains and fruits to control fungal and bacterial contamination.
Ethylene oxide can even be found in trace amounts in food items such as canned fish and other canned animal products, as well as in soft drinks, beer and wine.
What three things are influenced by ethylene?
Ethylene is a gaseous hormone that has an important role in the growth and development of plants. It is produced naturally by plants,can be stored within a plant,and can move throughout plants. Its production is regulated by environmental factors,such as light, temperature, moisture and an abundance of nitrogen in the soil.
The three things that are most influenced by ethylene are:
1. Plant growth: Ethylene helps regulate several different aspects of growth, such as stem elongation, leaf abscission, fruit ripening and flower initiation, as well as the ripening of flowers and fruit.
2. Plant development: Ethylene helps regulate the timing of the plant’s life cycle, such as when buds form, when flowers bloom and when fruits and vegetables ripen. It also induces the formation of storage organs, such as those found in onions.
3. Stress responses: Ethylene helps plants to respond to environmental stressors, such as drought and herbivory, by inducing growth arrest and leaf senescence. It also helps plants to respond to mechanical wounding, such as when a plant is pruned or hit by an animal.
How many ethylene plants are there in the world?
Currently, it is estimated that there are approximately 390 ethylene plants in operation around the world. This number is constantly changing as new plants are planned and existing plants are expanded or shut down.
Most of the ethylene plants are located in the Asia Pacific region, with India and China being the two largest producers of ethylene at this time. The United States is home to roughly 30 ethylene plants, while the European Union and the Middle East each have nearly 20 plants.
Ethylene production is also increasing in Latin America and Africa, with a total of over 20 plants in each region. Overall, ethylene plants have the capacity to produce nearly 500 million metric tons of ethylene each year.
How much ethylene does an apple produce?
The amount of ethylene gas a particular apple produces can vary significantly depending on its variety and the ripeness of the apple. Generally, the ripest apples in a batch will produce and emit more ethylene than the less ripe apples.
Studies have found that ‘McIntosh’ apples at room temperature can produce ethylene gas at concentrations of up to 40 to 50 parts per million. However, at higher temperatures, the level of ethylene gas emitted has been found to increase to concentrations as high as 60 parts per million.
In addition, some apple varieties, such as ‘Red Delicious’ can produce significantly greater volumes of ethylene gas compared to other varieties, making them more effective at accelerating the ripening of other fruits in the vicinity.
Overall, the amount of ethylene produced by apples can vary significantly depending on the type of apple and its ripeness, but the average ethylene gas production rate can be up to 60 parts per million.
Where does most ethylene come from?
Most ethylene is produced through the steam cracking of hydrocarbons such as natural gas, naphtha, gas oil, and coal. Steam crackers are an industrial process used to create ethylene and propylene, compounds which are essential building blocks in the production of a range of products.
In this process, a feedstock such as natural gas, naphtha, or coal is partially combusted and subjected to extremely high heat and pressure. In addition to ethylene and propylene, the steam cracking process yields other important petrochemical feedstocks such as butadiene, aromatics, and oxygenates.
This process is so efficient that ninety percent of the world’s ethylene supply is created through steam cracking and other related processes. The remaining ethylene is produced through thermal and catalytic oxidation of either ethane or butane in a reaction called partial oxidation.
Does apple or banana produce more ethylene?
Bananas are known to produce more ethylene than apples. Ethylene is a naturally occurring plant hormone, and the gaseous growth hormone is responsible for many plant developmental processes including the ripening of fruits.
Bananas are known to produce more ethylene than other fruits, like apples, and as the fruits age, they produce more of the hormone. This allows them to ripen quicker than other fruits, but it also results in the bananas rotting more quickly too.
Apples still produce some ethylene, they just don’t produce as much as other fruits, like bananas. This is why apples can be stored for longer periods of time without spoiling.