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Technology Profile: Polybutadiene Production via a Solution Process

By Intratec Solutions |

This column is based on “Polybutadiene Production via Solution Process – Cost Analysis,” a report published by Intratec. It can be found at: www.intratec.us/analysis/polybutadiene-production-cost. Polybutadiene (also known as butadiene rubber) is produced from the polymerization of 1,3-butadiene. In terms of production volume, polybutadiene is among the largest synthetic rubbers produced. This elastomeric polymer can have a variety of different properties depending on the ratio of its microstructural units and its tacticity. Most polybutadiene is consumed in the production of vehicle tires. It is also used to improve the mechanical properties of plastics. Figure 1. This process diagram shows polybutadiene production via solution polymerization[/caption] The process The production process discussed here is similar to the CB&I Lummus Catadiene process, integrated with a typical solution process. The process comprises four major sections: (1) n-butane dehydrogenation; (2) 1,3-butadiene purification; (3) polymerization; and (4) rubber molding. Figure 1 presents a simplified flow diagram. n-butane dehydrogenation. Initially, fresh butane, recovered butane and mixed butenes are heated to dehydrogenation temperature. These…
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