China Picks JM/Eastman MEG Process

27.09.2018 -

Chinese company Inner Mongolia Jiutai New Material has selected Johnson Matthey’s and Eastman Chemical’s newly developed Davy MEG technology for a 1 million t/y plant.

The Davy process produces MEG from a variety of raw materials, including coal, natural gas or biomass, unlike the majority of the world’s MEG, which is currently made from ethylene.

Speaking at the contract signing ceremony on Sept. 9, Cui Lianguo, chairman of Jiutai Group, said Jiutai’s aim is to use local coal and other precious resources, such as water, in a clean and sustainable manner to produce MEG at its coal-to-chemicals complex in Togtoh Industrial Park, Togtoh, Inner Mongolia.

The complex will produce synthesis gas (syngas) from the gasification of coal. The syngas will be converted to methanol, which will then be converted to formaldehyde from which MEG will be produced.

Johnson Matthey has also licensed to Jiutai its methanol and formaldehyde technologies and catalysts, which it said will maximize feedstock conversion and reduce utility consumption across the multi-step route. Any excess methanol not required for producing MEG will be used in other Jiutai plants.

The formaldehyde facility, said Johnson Matthey and Eastman, will have a capacity of 1.5 million t/y, making it one of the largest single-site plants for producing this chemical in the world.

Jiutai did not say when the complex will go into operation.

Johnson Matthey, which puts current global consumption of MEG at approximately 26 million t/y with annual growth over the last decade at more than 5%, said the Davy process offers a “unique and exciting opportunity for methanol and/or formaldehyde pro­ducers who are interested in diversifying their product slate”.

The companies announced in October 2013 that they had developed MEG technology from syngas, with work on the process having started more than a decade ago.