Catalysts promote the creation of plasticizer alcohols to a rate that readily multiplies the reaction to large-scale processes. “The new ligand makes the process more efficient and enables longer plant operation and less maintenance,” states Evonik in a press release.
The ligand that catalyses the reaction needed to create plasticizer alcohols is, according to the company, among the most expensive in the entire process.
“The plasticizer alcohol 2-PH is produced using the so-called oxo reaction. An alkene is transformed using a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen as well as a catalyst system, which is made of a metal and a ligand,” reads the release.
To limit that cost, “Evonik has developed OxoPhos 64i using cutting-edge methods such as computational chemistry. The improved process started at the end of 2014.”
This latest technology advances the entire workflow at the German facility. “The process improvement is sustainably impacting the whole C4 integrated production network of Evonik at the Marl site,” notes the company.
“With this production network Evonik converts C4 crack generated in crude oil processing to high-quality precursors and products such as butadiene, MTBE or plasticizer alcohols.”
Specialty chemical market
Plasticizers appear in personal care cosmetic product formulations, namely in eye makeup, foundation, lipstick, nail care products, and personal hygiene as well as shaving products.
“Plasticizer alcohols have a volume of 5 million metric tons per year and represent an interesting, continuously growing market for Evonik,”states the company’s press release.
“Besides 2-PH, the company also produces the plasticizer alcohol isononanol (INA) on a world-scale level.” Evonik claims an annual 400,000-metric-ton capacity to produce C9/C10 plasticizer alcohols.