01 November 2004 00:01 [Source: ICB]
There are three main ethanolamines: monoethanolamine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA), which is available as two types depending on purity and colour – TEA85% and TEA99%. MEA’s major use is in ethylene amines and imines (mainly captive), and personal care and detergents. DEA’s primary demand is in herbicides, followed by detergents and personal care and refining/gas treatment.
A large portion of TEA goes into detergents and personal care, then engineering/ metal working and concrete manufacturing. MEA accounts for about 41% of global ethanolamines consumption, with DEA at 34%, while TEA and residues is around 25%.
Global demand has been strong this year as MEA consumption surges due to a new wood treatment system in the US and good demand into ethylene amines. Demand from glyphosate, DEA’S main driver, has recovered compared to 2002 and early 2003. TEA99 is growing due to detergent applications and, in particular, esterquat (fabric softener) demand.
European production in 2004 has been impacted by ethylene oxide (EO) outages, and west European output is likely to be similar to 2003 at about 298 000 tonne. Consumption in western Europe of about 333 000 tonne in 2003 is estimated to grow by 3.5% to 345 000 tonne in 2004.
Imports totalled around 62 400 tonne in 2003, with under 10 000 tonne from eastern Europe, 46 600 tonne from Nafta and 6500 tonne from the Middle East. European exports were around 38 700 tonne. Future imports from Nafta and the Middle East will come under pressure as higher spot prices in China and greater demand in the US reduce incentives to export to western Europe.
Producers have strived to raise prices in 2004 as rising EO costs, and higher values for rival EO derivative monoethylene glycol, has pressured margins. Low spot MEA prices have risen from around €820/tonne FD in late January to €990/tonne by end September. DEA prices have risen from €790/tonne to €870/tonne, and TEA99 prices from €930/tonne to €990/tonne.
Ethanolamines are produced by adding EO to ammonia where the ammonia is either in an aqueous or gaseous state. Excess ammonia is removed in the first column and recycled and then water is removed and the homologues are separated. The product mix can be varied from an MEA content of around 70% to a TEA content of about 50% and any combination in between. Recycling of the various products to produce more DEA or more TEA can vary the end product mix.
Health and safety
MEA, DEA and TEA are colourless liquids. MEA is miscible with water and most oxygenated solvents, and DEA is miscible with water, alcohol and acetone. TEA is miscible with oxygenated solvents and is hygroscopic with a mild ammoniacal odour. High concentrations can be hazardous, are variously corrosive and the vapour is irritating to the eyes, skin and nose.
World demand growth is forecast to average 6%/year with the highest growth in Asia. MEA, due to a one-off step change into wood treatment and demand into electronics, is growing faster than DEA or TEA.
Supply and demand are balanced overall in 2004, but investment in debottlenecks or new plants will soon be needed as demand growth starts to outstrip growth in capacity.
Information from PCI Xylenes & Polyesters Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Akzo Nobel||Stenungsund, Sweden||66|
|Arak Petrochemical||Arak Iran||30|
|Lukoil Neftekhim||Burgas, Bulgaria**||10|
|JSC Syntez||Dzerzhinsk, Russia||22|
|Dow Chemical||Seadrift, Texas, US||182|
|Taft, Louisiana, US||100|
|Equistar||Bayport, Texas, US||25|
|Huntsman||Port Neches, Texas, US||159|
|Ineos Oxide||Plaquemine, Louisiana, US||160|
|Greensoft||Daesan, South Korea||20|
|Jilin Chemical||Jilin, China||5|
|Liaoning Fushun||Changzhi, China||25|
|Mitsui Chemicals||Osaka Japan||30|
|Nippon Shokubai||Kawasaki Japan||40|
|OUCC||Lin Yuan, Taiwan||40|
|Global total (all plants)||1380|
|Source: PCI Xylenes & Polyesters|
* larger plants only ** idled
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