Essen/Marl, Germany – Evonik Industries has started up new production facilities for C4-based products in the Marl Chemical Park, Germany, the company announced on 31 Aug.
According to Evonik, the new plants employ a new technology, which utilises special material streams from refineries for production of C4 chemicals.
The plant will be supplied by the neighbouring BP refinery in Gelsenkirchen.
Earlier in June, Evonik started up a plant, with the capacity of 100,000 tonnes per year, to make butadiene and other C4-based products in Antwerp, Belgium.
The combined investment for the two C4 expansions was in the “lower three-digit-million Euro range”, a spokesperson told ERJ.
The new production facilities have resulted in capacity expansion for the plasticiser isononanol in Marl, butadiene in Antwerp, and the fuel additive MTBE in both Marl and Antwerp.
The Marl plant, said Evonik, marks a technological milestone for the company, employing FCC-C4 (fluid catalytic cracking) material streams for production of a wider range of chemicals.
"The new technology significantly expands our raw-material base. It gives us access to raw-material streams that have so far not been used for downstream chemical processing," said Johann-Caspar Gammelin, chairman of the board of management of Evonik Performance Materials GmbH.
According to Evonik, the technology allows the company to use FCC-C4 material stream which have not been used in the industry previously.
“The main challenge here lay in separating any unwanted accompanying substances from the FCC-C4 stream.
The new technology incorporates various chemical reactions and absorption techniques, according to the company statement.
A 90-meter column, it explained, removes the saturatedbutanes, which are of less interest to Evonik, from the FCC-C4 material stream, so that the more valuable unsaturated butenes can be further processed to specialty chemicals.