Mitsubishi Chemical develops new technology to manufacture butadiene

09 Dec 2008 • by Natalie Aster

Japan's Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) has developed a new technology to manufacture butadiene from butenes using proprietary catalyst and examined it at a pilot plant in its Mizushima Plant in Japan. The company plans to produce the process design package within the next year. Butadiene is mainly used as a monomer in the production of a wide range of polymers and co-polymers, as well as in the production of several intermediate chemicals.

Butadiene occupies about 40% of crude C4s, which comprise about 11% of the fraction that is obtained by naphtha cracking (equivalent to approximately 30% of ethylene), and the substance is produced by a method of extraction from crude C4s. Although butenes, that occupies about 30% of crude C4s after butadiene is extracted, are used for various purposes, the volume of butenes that are consumed as fuel and raw materials for naphtha cracking are not a few. The new technology uses these butenes as raw material to produce butadiene, and the technology can be applied not only to those butenes which are obtained by naphtha cracking, but also to those which are obtained from the FCC (fluid catalytic cracking) facilities in petroleum refineries (including next-generation FCC facilities with higher yields of acquiring olefins).

MCC will explore the production of butadiene by itself, utilizing the technology's high cost competitiveness and, at the same time, plans to license the technology to those companies that plan to produce butadiene using butenes to be produced by the many naphtha cracker and FCC facilities in Japan and abroad.