02 November 2009 00:00 [Source: ICB]
Isopropanol (IPA) is mainly used as a solvent, with outlets in cosmetics and personal care products, deicers, paints and resins, pharmaceuticals, food, inks and adhesives.?xml:namespace>
Some chemical compounds are made from IPA, such as methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), isopropylamines and isopropyl esters. It is used to extract and purify natural products, such as vegetable and animal oil and fats. It is also used as a cleaning and drying agent in the manufacture of electronic parts and metals, and as an aerosol solvent in medical and veterinary products.
IPA is available in different grades. The normal quality of anhydrous IPA is 99%+, while special grades (essence and pharmaceutical) are 99.8%+.
Demand in ?xml:namespace>
Also, the Berre closure will be offset by new capacity from French producer Novapex, which will start up a 40,000 tonne/year unit in Roussillon, southern
Spot prices started climbing again in June, boosted by rising propylene feedstock costs. However, the €28/tonne fall in propylene prices in October has forced IPA prices down and they are likely to come under more pressure in November, with propylene contract prices falling again by €10/tonne.
The range in late October for technical grade was put at €840-880/tonne, although lower numbers nearer €800-820/tonne were heard too. Prices for cosmetic material were put between €960-1010/tonne.
Two routes are used to produce IPA commercially. The older method is based on the indirect hydration of refinery-grade propylene using sulfuric acid to form isopropyl sulfate, which is then hydrolyzed with steam to form sulfuric acid and IPA. The crude IPA is distilled to the desired purity.
A newer route is the direct hydration of chemical grade (90-99%) propylene, avoiding the need for sulfuric acid.
A very small amount of IPA is produced by the hydrogenation of acetone in the liquid phase. This process is only suitable where excess acetone is available.
Demand for IPA in
Any investment in new capacity is confined to
No more plant closures are anticipated, particularly in
major global isopropanolCAPACITY, '000 TONNES/year
|CNPC Jinzhou Petrochemical||Jinzhou, China||100|
|Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals||Taloja, India||70|
|Dongying Hi-Tech Spring Chemical Industrial||Dongying, China||30|
|Dow Chemical||Texas City, Texas, US||430|
|ExxonMobil Chemical||Baton Rouge, Louisiana, US||380|
|Isu Chemical||Ulsan, South Korea||40|
|Lee Chang Yung||Lin Yuan, Taiwan||110|
|LG Chem||Yosu, South Korea||100|
|LyondellBasell||Channelview, Texas, US||30|
|Mitsui Chemicals||Takaishi, Japan||33|
|Nippon Oil||Kawasaki, Japan||70|
|Rhodia Brasil||Paulinia, Brazil||10|
|Sarnia, Ontario, Canada||95|
|Tasco Chemical||Lin Yuan, Taiwan||20|
|Source: ICIS plants & projects|
Profile last published January 29, 2007
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