By Liz White, UT staff
Leverkusen, Germany-Bayer MaterialScience AG announced 17 May that it has developed novel technology for making toluene diisocyanate (TDI). BMS said its major Chinese plant for making TDI at Caojing will be the first large-scale eploitation of the technology.
"The new technology is a quantum leap in our development of state-of-the-art production methods that offer even greater efficiency," said Peter Vanacker, head of the Polyurethanes Business Unit at Bayer MaterialScience, in a company statement.
According to BMS, the process cuts the costs of constructing plants by 10 to 20 percent. The technology also reduces the energy needed by one third and sets new safety standards, said BMS.
BMS said it has been operating a pilot plant with annual capacity of 30 kilotonnes at the Bayer Chemical Park in Dormagen for over a year.
First world scale use for the innovative TDI technology will be at Bayer MaterialScience's Caojing site near Shanghai, where BMS plans to build an integrated 160 kt per annum TDI plant by the end of 2009.
BMS's Vanacker said the process uses innovative energy management and sets new standards in high-output, resource-saving production methods.
Following the success with the new technology, we will also considering using it when constructing TDI plants in Europe in the future," said Vanacker, although he mentioned no date or amount for any European TDI expansion by MDI. BMS concluded a major consolidation of its TDI operations in mid-2005, and said it has since focused production on integrated world-scale plants.
In Caojing, BMS is also constructing a 350 ktpa plant to make methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI). This plant is due for start up in 2008. Ahead of that, this autumn BMS will inaugurate an 80 ktpa splitter for recovering monomeric and polymeric MDI from crude MDI.
TDI's main use worldwide is for in production of flexible polyurethane foam, used in upholstered furniture, mattresses and automotive seating, while MDI's main outlet is to make rigid polyurethane foam for insulation purposes.
Pic: Peter Vanacker, head of BMS's polyurethanes business, speaking at a recent event for Bayer subsidiary Hennecke. "