Olefins and Polyolefins – Americas senior vice pesident Tim Roberts said the development of the catalyst-assisted technology can benefit US chemical industry through lower energy costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

"Access to low-cost ethane from shale gas over the past three years has changed the competitive position of the U.S. chemical industry," added Roberts.

BASF Qtech will partner LyondellBasell in this three-part program spanning three years to develop the said energy saving technology.

The company will build on an earlier generation ethane and naphtha-fed catalytic coating technology for steam crackers developed by BASF Qtech by extending the benefits to ethane and natural gas liquid-fed steam crackers.

With six steam cracking units in US, the company can process ethane and natural gas liquids for up to 85% of their feedstock.

LyondellBasell and BASF will share $2.2m of cost that will go into the project in addition to DoE grant.