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Sulzer provides mass-transfer technology for sustainable rubber production

By Mary Page Bailey |

Sulzer Ltd. (Wintherthur, Switzerland) has delivered a customized mass transfer solution to PT Enerco RPO Internasional’s grassroots plant for the production of treated distillate aromatic extract (TDAE) in Batam, Indonesia. The facility features the world’s largest agitated extraction column type Kuhni (ECR), which has been designed and built by Sulzer. This piece of equipment plays a crucial role in the manufacture of eco-friendly rubber process oils (RPOs) for the tire and rubber sectors.


Sulzer’s processing technology enables green tire and rubber production in Indonesia (Source: Sulzer)

Sulzer has completed the design, installation, commissioning and start-up of an innovative processing line to produce TDAE. This is a type of RPO with low concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that offers a non-hazardous alternative to conventional DAE.

The new Indonesian facility includes an agitated extraction column type Kuhni (ECR), a proven technology for the removal of PAH from base oil. With a diameter of 2.8 m (9 ft 2 in) and a height of 34 m (111 ft 6 in), this is the largest column of its kind and allows PT Enerco RPO Internasional to deliver high volumes of TDAE.

Roy Indra Salim, Commercial Director of Enerco, comments: “A combination of the advanced patented extraction technology from PT Enerco RPO Internasional with Kuhni Agitated Columns from Sulzer Chemtech has been the key success factor for the plant to achieve optimum performance and production efficiency levels with hydrodynamic control capabilities that can contribute to the overall reliability of the plant. The TDAE plant of PT Enerco RPO Internasional in Batam, Indonesia, can be referred to as the largest single TDAE plant in the world and is able to efficiently produce a very high and consistent quality of TDAE to improve the security of supply for green RPO (TDAE) globally.”

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