Webinar to discuss natural gas role in plastics

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — How does natural gas transform the economics of the Appalachian Basin and the production of plastics? That will be the topic of a web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension.

The webinar, "Gas, Cracker, Polymers, Pellets — Ethane’s Journey to Plastics," presented from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21, will feature Jason Williams, engineering research and industry interaction coordinator with Penn State Behrend, and Dan Brockett, an extension educator on the Penn State Shale Gas Team. 

They will join forces to discuss how natural gas products increase the manufacturing of plastics and discuss plant operations, scale and the current plastics industry.   

News of Shell’s cracker plant in Monaca has opened a floodgate of discussion on local use of natural gas products, workforce and business opportunities, noted Brockett. The availability of lower cost polyethylene within the eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania region has the potential to dramatically improve the economics of the region’s plastic manufacturing sector. 

"Until just a couple of years ago, no market was available for ethane produced in the Appalachian Basin," he said. "In a couple of years from now, there will be a local market for ethane.”

The webinar is free, but registration is necessary. To register, visit the Penn State Extension Natural Gas Events webpage. More information is available by contacting Carol Loveland at 570-320-4429 or at cal24@psu.edu.

Penn State Extension's Marcellus Education Team provides monthly webinars on a variety of topics. Upcoming webinars include:

— Oct. 19: "Liquid Natural Gas: Small Scale Commercial Impacts and Opportunities," presented by Tim Miller, engineering manager with Frontier Natural Resources.          

— Nov. 16: "Abandoned Wells in Pennsylvania: What is a Reasonable Estimate?" presented by Terry Engelder, professor emeritus, Department of Geosciences, Penn State.

— Dec. 21: "The SEDA-COG Natural Gas Cooperative: A New Regional Approach," presented by Don Kiel, executive director and secretary, SEDA-COG Natural Gas Cooperative Inc.

Previous webinars, publications and information also are available on the Penn State Extension natural gas website, covering a variety of topics such as liquid natural gas, seismic testing, methane emissions; water use and quality; Marcellus and Utica basins; natural gas reserves; gas-leasing considerations for landowners; legal issues surrounding gas development; and the impact of Marcellus gas development on forestland.

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Last Updated September 08, 2017