Celanese receives approval for industrial ethanol plant in China

22 March 2012 23:35  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Celanese received government approvals to modify a plant in China to produce industrial ethanol, the US-based acetyls producer said on Thursday.

The plant is in the company's Nanjing Chemical Industrial Park, and it will be based on the company's TCX technology, Celanese said.

Celanese's recently developed TCX technology allows it to produce ethanol from natural gas or coal by using acetic acid as an intermediary, according to a recent patent.

Celanese should start up the plant in mid-2013, the company said. Celanese did not disclose the cost of the modification, but said it would be a fraction of that for a new plant.

Initially, Celanese expected that the modified Nanjing plant would have a capacity of 200,000 tonnes/year. However, Celanese now expects the capacity of the modified unit to be 30-40% higher than the initial 200,000 tonne/year estimate.

In addition to the modified plant, Celanese plans to build as many as two coal-to-ethanol plants in China, each with an initial capacity of about 400,000 tonnes/year.

Industrial ethanol is used to make paints, coatings, inks and pharmaceuticals. Current demand for industrial ethanol in China is about 3m tonnes/year and is expected to grow by 8-10%/year.

By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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