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New toluene technology in use

By David Reed, UT EditorLondon-ARAL Aromatics GmbH, based in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, has commissioned a plant to make 30 kilotonnes per annum of toluene from fully hydrogenated coke-oven benzole, a by-product of coke manufacture, according to a 16 Nov press release from Uhde GmbH.Toluene is used in the manufacture of diisocyanates for the polyurethanes industry such as TDI (toluene diisocyanate).ARAL Aromatics has operated a major plant for the production of aromatics in Gelsenkirchen since 1968, and produces over 250 ktpa of ultrahigh-purity aromatics using the process, which was developed by Uhde, based in Dortmund, Germany.Tradenamed Morphylane, this uses extractive distillation with N-formylmorpholine as a solvent, to yield toluene which is over 99.9% w pure, Uhde claims. More than 55 such plants have been designed and built worldwide, the firm adds.”

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