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Chemical Week Magazine :: Cover Story
Revisiting the first cracker, in West Virginia, as shale rekindles interest
2:40 PM MDT | September 9, 2014 | —Lindsay Frost
The discovery of a cheaper and more efficient way to directly produce ethylene by George Curme in 1919 laid the foundation of the modern chemical industry. Applications for ethylene quickly spread beyond what had been originally conceived, including various plastic products used in several growing industries. The new technology of steam cracking from hydrocarbons to produce ethylene, and its derivatives—including ethylene glycol (EG), ethylene oxide (EO), and ethyl alcohol—would fuel the rise of US industry. It started with the first major commercial...
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