News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Akron Children's Hospital


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Economy and Business


Utica fractionator helps ease propane shortage
Industrial-scale processor tapped its production stream to make local propane delivery
by WKSU's TIM RUDELL


Reporter
Tim Rudell
 
Working on valves at the M3 Momentum fractionator facility
Courtesy of M3 Momentum
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Having a “fractionator” nearby came in handy for some Columbiana County residents, who were about to run out of fuel to heat their homes this week.  WKSU’s Tim Rudell explains…starting with:  "What’s a fractionator?”

Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (1:02)


First, it’s big
It is a half-a-billion-dollar chemical plant that separates products like methane, butane and propane from the typical raw output of a Utica Shale well.  This one is in the woods near Scio, in Harrison County, two-dozen miles south and west of Columbiana County.

It's not built for local service, but…
Monday, a regional propane shortage became acute, with delivery delays threatening to leave some rural residents with no home heating fuel. Luke Newbold of Columbiana County Emergency Management called Eric Mize of M3 Momentum -- the company that owns the fractionator and processes propane propane storage units on a massive commercial scale…to see if they could help locally.    “He immediately went to work and coordinated a delivery of upwards of eight thousand gallons of propane form the Scio plant.  And it was delivered that night.  It’s nice to have this connection…now we won’t be running out.”

Exploratory
Eric Mize says M3 actually began exploring local distribution before the shortage, and has a few area clients now. 


Related WKSU Stories

Bitter weather stretches limits of infrastructure
Monday, January 27, 2014

Ohio EPA chief tours shale gas processing plant
Tuesday, November 5, 2013

High-tech facility rises in the woods of eastern Ohio
Monday, June 24, 2013

Listener Comments:

Erin- Your comments are inaccurate. Just as Mr. Rudell cited in his article, frantionators separate hydrocarbons, which include methane, butane, propane, and hexane. Fractionators frequently use cryogenic processing to super cool the 'anes so they can separate these hydrocarbons from still-gaseous methane, enabling all the separated products to be shipped off to markets. In that fractionators separate chemical products, they are technically chemical plants.

Now, I'm not sure what the M3 Momentum Plant cost to construct, but these plants are very expensive-from tens of millions to a billion dollars in value nationwide. There's no reason to question Mr. Rudell's citation that this plant was a half billion dollar plant. The site is known as the "Harrison Hub" and consists of a large processing, storage and shipping facility, able to store 200,000 barrels of refrigerated liquids. The facility occupies 600 acres and includes 7,400 feet of rail-line frontage and another 40,000 feet of its own internal rail lines to manage shipping. It is a huge integrated facility.


Posted by: MEC Commissioner (North Carolina) on February 11, 2014 11:02AM
First off, fractionators don't separate methane, processing facilities do. Fractionators separate C3 (propane, butanes, natural gasoline ) into purity products.

Second, fractionators are not chemical plants and do not cost half a billion dollars.

Finally, nice typo. I believe you mean from not form...nice to see we have professionals in the media giving us accurate, well written coverage.


Posted by: Erin (Pittsburgh) on January 30, 2014 10:01AM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

The Black Keys guitar tech's moment in the spotlight
Nice job, Vivian. It's always nice to hear about the unsung heroes getting their due! Thank you, Chuck Johnston (Full disclosure - I'm a friend of the Carney fa...

Akron's Tuba Christmas: A resounding blast of holiday spirit
Nice piece, Vivian! Looking forward to hearing you move from flute to tuba on Saturday. Love hearing your interviews and this seemed extra special since I kno...

Cleveland Hugo Boss workers are fighting for their jobs again
Bro. Ginard; I support your effert to keep your jobs, I understand all about concesions, I was a Union offical from 1965 until 1991 and the company th...

Asian Carp control could benefit from bill passed by House, heading to the Senate
help me fight the battle against invasive carp by method of harvest

Ohio's Portman supports lifting limits on party political money
If Portman was legitimately concerned about outside groups influence on elections he would have supported the DISCLOSE act. Instead he helped block it being bro...

Study shows trade with China has cost more than 3 million U.S. jobs
I disagree with James Dorn! If we don't change the playing field and make it a fair competition the whole US industry will be weaker and weaker. Eventually all ...

Video of Cleveland police shooting a 12-year-old is critical to the investigation
While I think this is a very unfortunate, the fact is that police are trained to aim for the large mass of a human to stop them. If they aimed for the leg it w...

Wayne County teacher says he was fired for criticizing dairy
This is bull crap Smithville Schools have changed ever since the new school I'm so ashamed at the district I wish I could pick my house up and move it to anothe...

White Castle is closing its five Northeast Ohio restaurants
you should open a white castle in logan ohio.i'm pretty sure you disappointed,thank you...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University