ERJ staff report (TP)
Des Plaines, Illinois – TPC Group Inc. and UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, announced this week they have entered into an agreement for UOP to be the exclusive licensor of the proprietary TPC Group OXO-D technology used to produce on-purpose butadiene.
The two companies will immediately begin working together to license TPC Group’s proprietary OXO-D technology, which has been successfully operated for more than 40 years, commercially converting butene to butadiene for the production of synthetic rubber.
The current OXO-D technology is the basis for TPC’s current on-purpose butadiene project in commercial development. The two firms will jointly develop further enhancements to OXO-D, the most efficient and low-cost method to make on-purpose butadiene, "leveraging UOP’s expertise in licensing and technology".
“Changes in refining and petrochemical production in recent years have caused butadiene production to not keep pace with rising demand. This ‘butadiene gap’ can be closed with new technologies to produce on-purpose butadiene,” said Pete Piotrowski, senior vice president and general manager of UOP’s Process Technology and Equipment business unit.
TPC Group Inc. is a North American producer of butene and finished butadiene. Honeywell’s UOP develops and licenses process technology for the refining and petrochemical industries.
Butadiene has been traditionally produced as a byproduct of the naphtha cracking processes. In recent years, refiners have moved to using lighter feedstocks to make ethylene and propylene, key building blocks for plastics, causing less byproduct butadiene to be produced. At the same time, supply of butene, also a byproduct of refining processes, remains comparatively plentiful.