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February 2018 — GTC Technology LP and Total have agreed to a partnership to develop an innovative natural gas conversion process. The process will use less energy to manufacture the raw material used in the making of plastics and use less raw material overall, thus saving capital costs and being more environmentally friendly.

The partnership’s objective under this R&D program is to convert natural gas (i.e. methane) to molecules with a high-added value such as olefins (ethylene and propylene) and aromatics (benzene and xylenes), which are the components of plastics (polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, PET and others).

This technology could be implemented in the medium term at Total’s petrochemical sites, where natural gas is less costly and more readily available.