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December Chementator Briefs

By Edited by Gerald Ondrey |

  Acetic acid from syngas A new process for the production of acetic acid claims to be more efficient and cost-effective than current technologies. Carbonylation of methanol has been the leading acetic acid technology for several decades, but BP plc (London, U.K.; www.bp.com) has introduced the new three-step SaaBre process to produce acetic acid directly from synthesis gas (syngas; a mixture of H2 and CO). Unlike current acetic acid technologies, the SaaBre process requires no CO purification, and no methanol needs to be purchased. Also, there are no iodides present, reducing the need for any metallurgical considerations. In fact, experts believe that SaaBre will cut variable operating costs over BP’s current methanol-carbonylation technology to produce acetic acid, Cativa XL, by up to $50 per metric ton. Another feature of the process is its ability to use simple, ample feedstocks. Creating products directly from syngas allows for numerous suitable feedstock sources in any region around the world. The inaugural deployment of the SaaBre technology is expected for the first half of 2014, with future plans including the capability to produce methanol and ethanol from the process as well. Biobutanol The Industrial Technology…
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