Other news

6 February 2019

Braskem and Haldor Topsoe start up demo unit for developing renewable MEG

The mechanical completion of the innovative first process step of the demonstration plant is the first milestone to be achieved by Braskem and Haldor Topsoe’s partnership to validate the MOSAIK™ sugar-to-biochemicals solution for production of cost-competitive bio-based MEG (monoethylene glycol). Currently, MEG is made from fossil-based feedstocks, such as naphtha, gas or coal. The demonstration plant is expected to produce more than 100 tons per year of glycolaldehyde, the precursor for MEG, when it begins operation on March 1, 2019. MEG is a key component of PET plastic used for food packaging, especially bottles, and polyester fabrics. The global MEG market represents a value of 25 billion dollars.

AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals has started design work for a second expansion of chloromethanes capacity at its site in Frankfurt, Germany. The project will take place in several steps over the next five years and will raise total capacity by up to 50%, supporting growth of customers that use chloromethanes in the manufacture of products such as pharmaceuticals.

AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals plans second increase of chloromethanes capacity in Frankfurt

The company recently completed an initial chloromethanes expansion that increased capacity for the chloromethanes methylene chloride, chloroform and carbon tetrachloride. The new expansion phase will begin with an increase in capacity for methyl chloride, to be completed in 2020. Further investments are also planned to improve supply reliability and to expand chlorine production, the key raw material for chloromethanes.

Commenting on the plans, Knut Schwalenberg, Executive Committee Member responsible for Industrial Chemicals, said: “Our continued investments in both chlorine and chloromethanes production will increase reliability of supplies across the entire value chain to support the growth plans of our customers, while increasing energy efficiency thanks to the use of the latest technology.”

Chloromethanes are used as intermediates in the production of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, refrigerants, silicone polymers, and fluoropolymers, and are important raw materials for the construction and automotive industries, water treatment, cookware, and electronics. AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals has a leading position in the European chloromethanes market.

“We see strong growth in demand for chloromethanes and derived products from customers in emerging markets, such as India, for the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and construction materials,” said Werner Fuhrmann, CEO of AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals. “We are well positioned to capture part of this growth by investing in additional capacity in Frankfurt. In addition, the improved energy efficiency will provide significant sustainability benefits for our company.”