LDPE tubular process

Manufacturing plant with a close-up shot of the tubular process

ExxonMobil high-pressure tubular process has been in operation since 1968 with a long history of improvements and capacity expansion. ExxonMobil's world-scale tubular reactors enable licensees to produce polyethylene at a low total cost comparable to commercial gas-phase reactors. With our high-pressure tubular technology, licensees can produce:

  • a wide range of LDPE homopolymers
  • medium-density PE up to 0.935 g/cc
  • EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) copolymers

Compared to other processes, the advantages of ExxonMobil’s high-pressure tubular technology are:

  • very high clarity and medium density grades at high reactor conversion rates
  • cleaner products with lower levels of volatiles and waxes
  • extremely broad density window
  • proven grade slate for a variety of applications
  • products with lower gel levels
  • industry-leading low reactor decomposition frequency
  • broad range of proven design capabilities, including single lines over 400 kta 
  • less reactor downtime than other LDPE technologies
  • unique, successful concept of no-turnaround maintenance

As a result of high conversion rates, tubular technology achieves lower operating costs than autoclave technology. However, with either high-pressure tubular or high-pressure autoclave technology, licensees can expect outstanding safety, process flexibility, capacity and product quality.

Fifteen tubular lines operated by ExxonMobil and/or using ExxonMobil technology capable of producing more than 2,500 kta are located in:

  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
  • Meerhout, Belgium
  • Beaumont, Texas, USA
  • Johor, Malaysia
  • Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia  (multiple)
  • Yanshan, China
  • Sasolburg, South Africa
  • Wilton, U.K.