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Ethylene is a gas naturally found in plants and affects many physiological processes. It is also an industrially produced chemical compound.

Physical Properties
  • Colorless and Odorless: Ethylene is a colorless and odorless gas.

  • A Hormone Occurring in Plants: It is found naturally in plants in the regulation of physiological processes such as ripening, flowering, fruit set and defoliation.

  • Industrial Production: Ethylene from petroleum is used in the petrochemical industry to produce plastics, synthetic fibers and many chemical products.

  • Cracking Method: This is the most widely used ethylene production method in the petrochemical industry. The cracking process occurs when hydrocarbons such as crude oil or natural gas are cracked under high temperature and pressure. In this process, the long molecular chains of hydrocarbons are shortened and smaller molecules are formed. Many different compounds, such as ethylene, can be obtained during this cracking process.

  • Oxycracking Method: In this method, hydrocarbons are reacted with oxygen. This reaction is used to produce ethylene and other hydrocarbons from organic materials such as crude oil, tar or bituminous coal.


Areas of Use
  • Plant Growth and Agriculture: In agricultural applications, ethylene is used to accelerate fruit ripening or to promote the ripening of harvested crops.

  • Plastic Industry: Ethylene is the main ingredient in plastics such as polyethylene. Polyethylene is widely used in plastic packaging, toys and many industrial and consumer products.

  • Chemical Industry: Ethylene is used in the production of various organic chemical compounds. It is also an important raw material in the production of chemicals such as acetaldehyde and ethylene oxide.

The biological effects of ethylene in plants and its industrial use play an important role in the agricultural and chemical industries. Besides its natural processes as a growth-regulating hormone in plants, its industrial production also makes it a key ingredient in the production of many everyday products.

Laboratuvarda Mühendisi
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