The chemical industry produces more than 70,000 products that, as consumers, we interact with daily. Items such as detergents, soaps, and perfumes are just a handful of examples. These products are all purchased directly by the consumer; others are used as intermediates to make other products.
Ethane crackers are generally, very large industrial facilities converting gas to another by-product. The vast majority, are located on the Gulf Coast. The “cracker” takes ethane, a component of natural gas and processes it-or ‘cracks’ it (breaks down) into ethylene. This is done by heating the ethane, to an extreme temperature causing it to break apart the molecular bonds holding it together. Ethane is used almost exclusively as a petrochemical feedstock to produce ethylene.