A new process for making toluene diisocyanate (TDI), which is a key raw material for polyurethane, reduces energy consumption by a third, cuts investment costs by 10-20%, and sets new safety standards, claims its developer, Bayer MaterialScience AG, Leverkusen, Germany. A 30,000-ton/year pilot plant has been operating at Dormagen, Germany, for more than a year; the company now plans to construct the first full-scale plant, a 160,000-ton/year unit at its site at Caojing, near Shanghai, China, for startup in 2009.
The new technology is a quantum leap in our development of state-of-the-art production methods that offer even greater efficiency. It provides an innovative system of energy management and sets new standards in high-output, resource-saving production methods, says Peter Vanacker, head of Bayers Polyurethanes Business Unit. We will be considering using it when constructing TDI plants in Europe in the future, he adds.