Axens builds on ExxonMobil MTBE Decomposition Tech for high purity isobutylene production

Axens builds on ExxonMobil MTBE Decomposition Tech for high purity isobutylene production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing LLC and Axens have signed an exclusive licensing alliance agreement allowing Axens to include ExxonMobil’s MTBE Decomposition Technology for high purity isobutylene in its portfolio, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Used in the production of high-reactivity polyisobutylene and butyl rubber, this technology enables Axens’ customers to better address the growing demand for petrochemical intermediates over the next decade.

Under the agreement, Axens is granted a worldwide right to market, license and provide engineering work and technical support for the design, construction and start-up of new MTBE Decomposition units. This alliance builds on collective expertise to provide customers with isobutylene purity of at least 99.99 wt% via an integrated unit with MTBE and MTBE Decomposition technologies or through a standalone unit using MTBE Decomposition technology.

Luc Wolff, Vice president Petrochemical Product Line at Axens, said “ExxonMobil MTBE Decomposition technology is a commercially proven, cost-effective, continuous fixed bed process that catalytically cracks MTBE into isobutylene and methanol. Adding this technology to Axens’ portfolio completes Axens’ offer and strengthens our long-term partnership with ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing LLC”.

“We are excited to expand our partnership with Axens and provide this proven technology to the industry. Our partnership with Axens in other technologies has demonstrated how well the two companies work together. It was consequently quite natural to propose this technology to Axens knowing their capability to deliver technology to the market.” said Louis Burns, Market Development Manager in ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing LLC.

We remind, ExxonMobil Corp has started up its long-planned project to expand light crude oil processing capacity by 250,000 b/d at ExxonMobil Product Solutions Co's integrated refining and petrochemicals complex along the US Gulf Coast in Beaumont, TX, US.

Solvay to produce green hydrogen for its Peroxides activity in Rosignano

Solvay to produce green hydrogen for its Peroxides activity in Rosignano

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay and Sapio are partnering in the joint development of the Hydrogen Valley Rosignano Project, a large-scale hydrogen production plant with locally-sourced green energy in Rosignano, Italy, said the company.

Led by two technology leaders in the hydrogen economy, this project will further enable the decarbonisation of Solvay’s activities in Rosignano, leading to a 15% reduction of CO2 emissions for Peroxides related operations.

The green hydrogen production plant will be built by mid-2026 on a former industrial area within Solvay’s Rosignano facility and will be powered by green electricity through the construction of a dedicated 9.5 MW photovoltaic installation. It will have a capacity of 756 tons of green hydrogen per year, which will be used for the production of peroxides on site.

The Hydrogen Valley Rosignano Project is yet another example of Solvay’s ongoing journey towards carbon neutrality. Solvay’s focus lies on maximizing electrification and transitioning to renewable energies, such as solar power, as well as spurring process innovations. For the construction of the hydrogen production plant in Rosignano, Solvay has been awarded EUR16 million of funding under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) from the Tuscan Region.

We remind, Solvay, a global market leader in specialty materials, has officially opened another application development lab (ADL) in Shanghai to expand the global footprint of its research and innovation capabilities. Major local and global end markets expected to benefit from Solvay’s Shanghai based Application Development Lab will be automotive, new energy, life solutions and pharmacy, smart devices and semiconductors.

BASF to expand production capacity for bio-based alkyl polyglucosides

BASF to expand production capacity for bio-based alkyl polyglucosides

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany) will expand its global alkyl polyglucosides (APG) production capacity with two expansions at its sites in Bangpakong, Thailand, and Cincinnati, Ohio, said the company.

By expanding in two regions in parallel, BASF, the global market leader for APGs, can strengthen its position and serve customers even faster and more flexible from the regional supply points, while at the same time reducing cross-regional volume flows. The additional capacities are expected to come on stream in 2025.

“With this investment, we will solidify our position as a leading supplier of APGs in all relevant industries”, said Mary Kurian, President Care Chemicals. “Both our customers and consumers around the world are aware of the importance of sustainable formulations. At BASF, we are committed to providing sustainable products with strong performance. This expansion will enable the future of bio-based and biodegradable surfactants worldwide by offering diverse applications for personal care and home care, as well as industrial and institutional cleaning and industrial formulations.”

“As the sole producer of APGs in North America, this expansion demonstrates our unwavering commitment to deliver innovative bio-based and biodegradable surfactants to our customers”, said Marcelo Lu, Senior Vice President, Care Chemicals, North America. “With this additional capacity we stand ready to help customers reformulate and meet the increasing consumer and regulatory demand for more sustainable solutions across the Care Chemicals portfolio.”

We remind, BASF had a 13.4% decrease in sales for Q1 2023, from EUR23.1 billion in Q1 2022 to EUR20.0 billion. However, net income was EUR1.6 billion, EUR340 million higher than in the same period of the previous year. The company forecasts sales of between EUR84 billion and EUR87 billion for 2023.

U.S. diesel demand is falling despite economic growth

U.S. diesel demand is falling despite economic growth

MOSCOW (MRC) -- U.S. diesel demand will drop through 2024 despite growing economic activity, extending a recent break from tradition where demand for the freight fuel grows with GDP, the Energy Information Administration forecast on Tuesday, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Historically, GDP has grown in tandem with manufacturing activity and diesel consumption as more goods orders increase the need for freight transport, the main driver of diesel demand. After a brief spurt in consumer spending on goods during peak pandemic-related restrictions, however, service sector production has been the primary driver of GDP growth, which requires less diesel consumption, the EIA said.

Diesel consumption declined in the first quarter compared with the same time last year, a period of economic growth, the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy noted. The EIA added that the trend is expected to continue, with diesel demand for the second half of this year seen below the 2015-2019 average and then falling further in 2024.

Between the first quarters of 2021 and 2023, spending on services rose 10% while spending on goods rose just 2% over that period, the EIA said.

The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 46.9 last month from 47.1 in April. It was the seventh straight month that the PMI stayed below the 50 threshold, which indicates contraction in manufacturing, and it is the longest such stretch since the Great Recession.

While the services sector has also slowed, the non-manufacturing PMI was still in expansion and landed at 50.2 for last month. "Going forward, we expect this trend (of more spending on services) to continue and GDP to increase by 1.3% in 2023, while the distillate-weighted manufacturing index declines by 1.1%," EIA said.

We remind, Kazakhstan cut its oil production (excluding gas condensate) by 3% on a daily basis in May compared to April to 1.55 million barrels per day (bpd). Oil production in Kazakhstan in May was in line with the country's quota under the OPEC+ agreement, also taking into account a voluntary reduction of 78,000 bpd. The country’s energy ministry did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment.

European chlorine production remained low in April

European chlorine production remained low in April

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In April, the European chlorine production reached 600,389 tonnes. With 20,013 tonnes, the April 2023 average daily production was 2.0% higher than in the previous month (March 2023: 19,619 tonnes), but 15.3% lower than in April 2022 (23,619 tonnes), said Eurochlor.

With 293,686 tonnes, the April 2023 caustic soda stocks were 5.6% lower than in the previous month (March 2023: 311,070 tonnes) but 101,371 tonnes above the level of April 2022 (192,315 tonnes).

The following tables give the details of chlorine production and caustic soda stocks in the EU-27 countries plus Norway, Switzerland, and the UK in April 2023.

We remind, in March 2023, the European chlorine production stood at 608,195 tonnes. With 19,619 tonnes, the March 2023 average daily production was 10.4% lower than in the previous month (Feb 2023: 21,893 tonnes), and 17.5% lower than in March 2022 (23,793 tonnes). With 311,827 tonnes, the March 2023 caustic soda stocks were 1.9% lower than in the previous month (Feb 2023: 317,909 tonnes) and 101,305 tonnes above the level of March 2022 (210,522 tonnes).