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Specialty chemical producer AkzoNobel will supply its Continuous Initiator Dosing (CiD) technology to Mexichem Resinas Vinilicas, S.A. de C.V., one of the world's largest PVC manufacturers.

Heather Caliendo

June 25, 2012

2 Min Read
AkzoNobel to supply its Continuous Initiator Dosing (CiD) technology to Latin American PVC plants

The deal, which marks the company's first CiD license outside Europe, involves three Mexichem plants (two in Mexico, one in Colombia), which will be supplied with organic peroxide by AkzoNobel's Los Reyes site, where €9 million ($11 million) is being invested to boost the existing manufacturing capacity.

Four years after the first commercial introduction of CiD, five PVC plants are in commercial operation with a combined capacity of 1 million tons/yr. An AkzoNobel spokesperson told PlasticsToday this Mexichem announcement marks the sixth license sold for the company.

"In addition to the licenses, who are all actively using CiD to produce suspension PVC, there are several other companies trialing the technology," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said they couldn't comment about how much Mexichem's output will be boosted with this technology.

"On a general note our technology can increase the output of the PVC reactor by up to 30% by making full use of the cooling capacity through the entire polymerization, which is not possible with traditional PVC polymerization technology," the spokesperson said.

Launched in 2007, the patented CiD technology was developed to help PVC manufacturers improve reactor output, product quality, and operational safety.

Even though the technique to continuously dose initiators has been practiced in many other processes for a number of years, and several attempts have been made by the PVC industry, no workable system was available, according to the company.

In the end, a number of breakthroughs had to be combined in order to make it a success, the company stated. Once these items were in place, AkzoNobel set out to prove that the system was not restricted to lab scale. In order to scale up the technology, two "plug and play" demonstration rigs were built along with a partnership with one of its customers PVC manufacturer Vinnolit.

The project was initiated in 2002 and the first commercial unit of Vinnolit started in 2007 in Cologne, Germany.

The technology works by producing a very square heat profile during polymerization. This means that maximum cooling can be used throughout, whereas with traditional technology, the heat output build to a peak, so maximum cooling is only possible at that peak. Utilization of this 'wasted' cooling capacity enables a faster polymerization time.

"One of the major advantages of CiD is that it allows producers to control the reaction speed of the PVC production process by regulating the rate of initiator dosing," explained Jan Svard, Managing Director of AkzoNobel Functional Chemicals. "This not only enhances productivity, but also makes the process much safer."

PVC is the third most widely produced plastic in the world, with annual production of around 34 million tons. The spokesperson said PVC continues to grow in line with the GDP. Demand still outpaces supply, so the South American market continues to attract imports.

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