Ube Industries, Ltd. (UBE; www.ube-ind.co.jp) and HighChem Co. (both Tokyo; www.highchem.co.jp) will license their technologies for transforming coal-derived synthesis gas (syngas) into manufacturing ethylene glycol (MEG) (a polyester feedstock) to Qianxixian Qianxi Coal Chemical Investment Co. (Guizhou, Qianxixian, China). The license covers a process for manufacturing dimethyl oxalate (DMO) and a process that converts DMO into MEG.
Qianxixian plans to build a coal-gasification facility and a 300,000-metric-tons (m.t.) per year MEG facility (720,000-m.t./yr DMO) in Guizhou Province, with plans to bring them online sometime around the end of 2012 or early 2013.
The companies did not disclose process details (flowsheet) except to say that the DMO process is based on a proprietary CO-coupling reaction from UBE that employs a palladium catalyst.
UBE’s proprietary nitrite technology is said to be highly selective for the formation of carbon-carbon bonds.
The MEG process is now undergoing a HighChem-led pilot demonstration in China based on UBE technology.
Fuente: CHEMICAL ENGINEERING ♦ WWW.CHE.COM ♦ APRIL 2011