Methacrylate Monomers: Alpha Technology – Lucite International

 
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Alpha Technology

OVER THE PAST 15 YEARS, LUCITE INTERNATIONAL HAS DEVELOPED ALPHA TECHNOLOGY, A NEW, PATENTED ROUTE TO MMA BASED ON READILY AVAILABLE RAW MATERIALS: ETHYLENE, METHANOL AND CARBON MONOXIDE. ALPHA HAS ALSO CREATED FREEDOM IN TERMS OF PLANT SIZE, ENABLED US TO REDUCE CAPITAL INVESTMENT AND SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE OUR OPERATING ECONOMICS.

Award winning recognition

The technology is the result of extensive and novel research into catalysis and new processes by our own scientists and engineers and has achieved award recognition:

  • 2009 Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Award – Winner
  • Chemical Industry Association (CIA) 2009 Innovation Award – Winner
  • ICIS Innovations Awards 2009 – Short-listed for Best Product Innovation
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award 2010 – Finalist

Proving technology with Alpha 1

Alpha technology was first proven at commercial scale in 2008 with a 100kte/annum plant in Singapore. It was built on time, to budget and began production significantly above its nameplate capacity. Unlike traditional MMA processes there are no polymer/solids blockage, corrosion, or machine issues or vulnerabilities. Product purity, an absolute market requirement for high margin optical polymers for LED/LCD TV monitors and PDA screens, has consistently been industry leading.

Alpha 2 nearing completion

On 9 June 2011, our parent company, Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) announced their intentions to form a joint venture company seeking to invest in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s first MMA and MMA polymer assets. Alpha is the technology of choice for the largest ever MMA plant (250kte/annum), which will benefit from three years of operational learning and will encompass energy saving technology to further enhance its environmental credentials. The new, world-scale Alpha plant is scheduled to start up mid 2017.

Building on the track record of success, we will continue to develop energy efficiency, yield and output improvements, which will be incorporated into future Alpha plants. In this way, Lucite International aims to provide reliable, long-term, sustainable supplies at competitive prices to its global customers.

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