Propane direct conversion process mainly produces acrylonitrile and acrylic acid.
Asahi Kasei, BP and Mitsubishi Chemical have developed the propane acrylonitrile process, and companies such as Mitsui Tokio Chemical, Rhone-Planck, BASF, Air Products and Nippon Shokubai are also developing the process. In recent years, the global market for acrylonitrile has slowed down, but the demand for acrylic acid has been growing strongly under the impetus of the high water-absorbing resin and coating industry. The main developers of propane acrylic acid are Mitsubishi Chemicals and East Asia Synthetic Chemicals, BASF, BP, Atofina, Mitsui Eastco Chemical and Sunoco are also involved in the development.
Propane acrylonitrile technology
The main production route of acrylonitrile is that the propylene is produced in a fluidized bed by ammoxidation of acrylonitrile under the action of multi-component catalysts (including vanadium and niobium), and by-product hydrogen cyanide and hydrocyanic acid can be used as methyl methacrylate. raw material. The reaction rate is limited by propylene. The use of propane as an alternative material can reduce raw material costs. In fact, the propane ammoxidation process began as early as the 1950s and early 1960s.
The key to the direct production of acrylonitrile from the ammoxidation of propane is the development of a catalyst that activates propane (vanadium/barium chloride), and the yield of acrylonitrile is expected to reach about 55%. At least three or more companies have developed this process. Asano Chemical Co., Ltd. has enlarged the pilot test to pilot test. Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation and BOC Gas also built a pilot plant in Japan. The catalyst developed by Mitsubishi Chemicals is based on the oxides of molybdenum, vanadium, and niobium, which contain a small amount of niobium and tantalum. Asahi Kasei and Mitsui are also investigating. BP is also developing propane for the production of acrylonitrile and successfully piloted it at Green Lake in Texas. The catalyst developed by BP is based on the oxides of vanadium and niobium and tin and titanium as auxiliaries. It is expected to build 20-25 million tons per year in 7-8 years.
Several processes are expected to be put into industrial application in advance, with low propane conversion/oxygen as oxidant/propane cycle process; high propane conversion/air as oxidant/non-circulating propane process and medium to high propane conversion/air as oxidant / Propane cycle process. The third process developed by BOC and Mitsubishi Chemical will be industrialized after the two companies announced the formation of a joint development body. This process combines Mitsubishi's catalyst development experience with BOC's newly developed technology for selective recovery and recycling of unreacted propane from process off-gas. A comparison of the production costs for the propylene process and the propane process shows that the investment cost for a 270,000-ton/year traditional process acrylonitrile plant is approximately US$280 million, and the propane process unit of the same scale requires approximately US$350 million, but the propane process is not The ammonia of the reaction is recovered in the form of ammonium sulfate with better technical economy.
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