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Terephthalic Acid Production from p-Xylene

By Intratec Solutions |

This column is based on “Terephthalic Acid Production from p-Xylene — Cost Analysis,” a report published by Intratec. It can be found at: www.intratec.us/analysis/terephthalic-acid-production-cost. Terephthalic acid is an aromatic dicarboxylic acid, mainly used to produce saturated polyesters, primarily PET (polyethylene terephthalate) followed by PBT (polybutylene terephthalate). A small portion of terephthalic acid is employed in other uses, such as polyamides, liquid crystal polymers and plasticizers. The process The process described here is a conventional technology for purified terephthalic acid (PTA) production from p-xylene, similar to one originally developed by Amoco Corp. (merged with BP in 1998) in the 1960s. Figure 1 presents a simplified flow diagram of the process. Figure 1. The flow diagram shows purified terephthalic acid production from p-xylene via a conventional catalytic oxidation process[/caption] Oxidation. P-xylene is mixed with acetic acid solvent and a catalyst solution and then fed to the oxidation reactor. In the reactor, p-xylene is oxidized to terephthalic acid, and most of the product generated is precipitated. The unreacted p-xylene, along with acetic acid and water formed are partially vaporized…
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