C2 Selective Hydrogenation
In addition to containing up to 90% ethylene, steam cracker C2 cuts have from 0.5 to 3% acetylene. This highly unsaturated compound is undesirable in both chemical- and polymer-grade ethylene.
The most elegant way to remove acetylene is via hydrogenation to ethylene.
C2 cuts are either processed before separation of the lighter hydrogen and methane (Front End configuration), or after the former separation (Tail End configuration).