China: Biodegradable Plastic Man Energy Secures Order for Salt-Operated Reactor Systems

Editor: Ahlam Rais

China’s Wanhua Chemical Group has selected DWE, a subsidiary of Man Energy Solutions to deliver three salt-operated reactors for its new maleic-anhydride plant which produces PBAT (PolyButylene Adipate Terephthalate), a core material used for the production of biodegradable plastics.

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The solution provided by Man Energy Solutions will be able to handle an annual capacity of 67,000 tons per reactor system.
The solution provided by Man Energy Solutions will be able to handle an annual capacity of 67,000 tons per reactor system.
(Source: Man Energy Solutions)

Augsburg/Germany – Wanhua Chemical Group, a leading supplier of chemical products in China, has commissioned DWE – a subsidiary of Man Energy Solutions – to deliver three salt-operated reactors for a new maleic-anhydride plant specialized in the production of PBAT (PolyButylene Adipate Terephthalate) – a base material for biodegradable plastics. With an overall capacity of 200,000 tons per year, Wanhua will eventually operate one of the largest production plants for maleic anhydride worldwide. The solution provided by Man Energy Solutions will be able to handle an annual capacity of 67,000 tons per reactor system.

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China expects a growing demand for maleic anhydride in the coming years, mainly driven by the process industry’s efforts to increase the production of environmentally sustainable packaging-material. PBAT-based plastic is biodegradable: when buried in soil, it decomposes due to the action of naturally occurring micro-organisms – such as fungi, algae and bacteria – and leaves no toxic residues behind.

In cooperation with licensor, Conser, and catalyst supplier, Clariant, Man will work on the first reference project for maleic-anhydride reactors featuring tubes with an inner diameter of 25 mm. Compared to the usual diameter of 21mm, the larger diameter and lower drop-catalyst enable the optimization of the system’s power consumption and the highest efficiency.

The reactors are more than 10 meters in diameter and reach an operating temperature of up to 450°C. Thanks to the outstanding temperature control of DWE Reactors, the operating conditions for each of the 38,500 tubes are practically identical, thereby maximizing selectivity and yield.

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