Siluria Technologies has brought online its demonstration plant in La Porte, TX, marking the world’s first large-scale production of ethylene directly from natural gas through its oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) technology, the San Francisco-based company said.

“This revolutionary breakthrough has the potential to shift the foundation of the hydrocarbon economy by using abundant natural gas to produce high-value chemicals and fuels,” said Siluria CEO Ed Dineen. “We are well positioned with our commercial and engineering partners to now move quickly to full commercialization of our proprietary technologies.”

The plant is owned by Siluria, and co-located at a plant operated by Braskem America Inc. The demonstration plant is the final scale-up of the OCM process technology. Siluria plans to deploy commercial-scale plants in the 2017-2018 timeframe.

Saudi Aramco is among investors that have put up $30 million to fund Siluria (see Daily GPI, Aug. 20, 2014).

Siluria has developed a second process package for converting ethylene to liquids (ETL) to produce tailored products such as gasoline and other high-value hydrocarbon liquids. Siluria has been using the ETL technology to produce gasoline at its pilot facility in Hayward, CA, since November 2013.