Shenzhen, China - Chinese isocyanates supplier Yantai Wanhua Polyurethanes Co. Ltd will use vapour-phase phosgenation for the 300 kilotonnes-per-annum TDI (toluene diisocyanate) plant it plans to build in Yantai by 2013, chairman Jiansheng Ding revealed, in an interview with Urethanes Technology International at the PU China 2010 exhibition in Shenzhen.
German isocyanates producer BASF is also researching gas-phase phosgenation to make TDI, and has filed a lot of patents, said Melanie Maas-Brunner, senior vice-president for BASF's polyurethanes business in Asia Pacific, in a 26 May interview during PU China 2010.
Noting that this work is developing well, Maas-Brunner said the time-scale for BASF to exploit such technology is mid-term, and commented that to be a technology leader the group must keep at the forefront of such developments.
Bayer MaterialScience, however, is currently well ahead of the rest of the polyurethanes sector in exploiting gas-phase phosgenation, with a 250 kilotonnes-per-annum TDI plant being built at Caojing, using its proprietary patented low-solvent, low-energy-use gas-phase process.
Peter Vanacker, head of the global polyurethanes business at Bayer MaterialScience, told UTI during PU China 2010 that this plant, using "state of the art" technology is set for mechanical completion by the end of this year and start-up is scheduled for mid 2011. Bayer has also started to prepare a site for an identical 300 ktpa gas-phase TDI plant in Dormagen, Germany, set for start up in 2014.
Yantai Wanhua has been "developing cutting-edge TDI technology for many years," following on from the technology it is developing to make speciality aliphatic diisocyanates, Ding said. In this context, the group also has plans to set up a 10 ktpa hexamethylene diisocyanate plant at its Ningbo location, he said.
Speaking exclusively to UTI, Yantai chairman Ding also said the group will also set up a polyols plant, initially with 50 ktpa capacity, exploiting the technology it acquired when it bought into the integrated systems business now called Guangdong Wanhua Rongwei Polyurethane Co. Ltd, which has base polyol capability.
Ding commented that the company's new 300 ktpa plant at Ningbo to make MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) is set to start production in the third or fourth quarter of this year.
This is the Chinese group's second MDI unit at Ningbo -- it already has a 250 ktpa plant there -- and it is possible that the new plant may be debottlenecked to raise capacity further, the Yantai chairman said.
PIC: Yantai chairman Jiansheng Ding