Wichita, Kansas- Following the successful start-up of its plant to make PTMEG (polytetramethylene ether glycol), Sichuan Tianhua Fubang Chemical's product has successfully completed the first step of commercial qualification for use in Invista's spandex manufacturing plants.
Tianhua's 46-kilotonne per annum PTMEG plant in Luzhou City, Sichuan Province, China, makes it the first PTMEG licensee from Invista Performance Technologies.
The license agreement has provisions for Invista's advanced BDO (butanediol), THF (tetrahydrofuran) and PTMEG process technologies, PTMEG product grades, training and technical services including commissioning and startup support, said a release from Wichita, Kansas-headquartered Invista.
"Earning commercial qualification approval represents a significant milestone in our relationship, as Tianhua transitions from a licensee to a qualified PTMEG supplier for Invista's spandex fibres," said Michael Massa, director of BDO/PTMEG licensing, Invista Performance Technologies, in the announcement.
"The qualification process was swift, which is a result of the technology implemented by Tianhua," Massa added.
Tianhua first took out a licence for Invista's BDO technology in 2004, with a successful startup and market qualification. The companies later entered into a second license agreement for BDO, THF and PTMEG technologies as part of Tianhua's next investment phase, which recently came on stream.
"We are extremely happy with the startup of the facility and the speed at which we were able to ramp up the production rates and make first-quality product," said Liu Kongman, vice general manager, Sichuan Tianhua, who led the PTMEG project. "We look forward to becoming a preferred supplier to Invista and building a reputation for the best quality PTMEG in the China market."
Laboratory analysis of the Tianhua PTMEG product indicates that it is equivalent with respect to structure, quality, reactivity and product performance to the PTMEG produced at Invista's La Porte, Texas, site.
Chemical intermediate PTMEG is a polyether glycol, used as a building block in high-performance polyurethanes, polyesters and other polymers. Typical end uses for PTMEG include spandex fibres, flexible adhesives and coatings.
Since 1990, Invista has licensed its leading technologies in chemical intermediates and polymers in China and estimates that the total investment of its Chinese licensees now exceeds RMB 55 billion.
Invista Performance Technologies also licenses BDO, THF, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) polymer, purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and adipic acid (AA) technologies.
Sichuan Tianhua Fubang is located in Rongshan Town, in Luzhou City, Sichuan Province and produces ammonia, urea, melamine, BDO and PTMEG. Its products are sold through affiliate Jiuhe Co. Ltd with sites in, Chongqing and Chengdu, in China.
Invista, part of Koch Industries, is one of the world's largest integrated producers of polymers and fibres, primarily for nylon, spandex and polyester applications. It is present in over 20 countries, with trademarks in polyurethanes including: Adi-Pure, Lycra, Terate and Terathane.