Bayer boosts TDI production

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Polymer manufacturer Bayer MaterialScience has developed a cheaper and more energy-efficient method for producing toluene diisocyanate.

Polymer manufacturer

Bayer MaterialScience

has developed a method for producing toluene diisocyanate (TDI), which reduces production plant construction costs by 10 to 20 percent and energy consumption by one third.

A pilot plant with an annual production capacity of 30,000 tonnes has been in operation in the Bayer Chemical Park in Dormagen for over a year.

Bayer MaterialScience plans to use the new technology for the first time on an industrial scale at its Caojing site near Shanghai. The company intends to construct a fully integrated TDI production plant there with an annual capacity of 160,000 tonnes by the end of 2009.

TDI is used in the production of flexible polyurethane foam, a component of upholstered furniture, mattresses and automotive seating.

In 2005, Bayer MaterialScience finished years of work on a consolidation process for TDI and its primary products and has since focused its production on integrated manufacturing plants.

Bayer MaterialScience has previously developed a similar method for producing methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), a raw material for producing rigid polyurethane foam used in insulation. The company is currently constructing a world-scale production plant for MDI in Caojing with a capacity of 350,000 tonnes a year, which is due to commence operation in 2008.

The inauguration of a splitter for recovering monomeric and polymeric MDI from crude MDI is already scheduled for autumn 2006. It will boast an annual capacity of 80,000 tonnes.