07 July 1997 00:00 [Source: ICB]
Eka Chemicals' new plant in Trollhättan, Sweden, has gone into full production with a solvent-free method for making alkylketenedimer (AKD) wax.
AKD wax is a neutral sizing agent employed in paper manufacturing. Eka's main competitors in the paper chemicals business make it with a dimerisation involving toluene or dichloropropane. These solvents must be recycled as far as possible by special recovery equipment, said Eka's project manager Martin Westerlund.
Eka's patented process avoids this. 'It is hard to say just how much solvent is saved. But our costs are much less because we do not need the expensive solvent regeneration equipment that our competitors must have.'
The plant, which began operation nine months ago, now produces 7000 tonne/year. Eka, a subsidiary of Akzo Nobel, does not yet intend to license out the technology 'though that is open to discussion' said Westerlund.
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