Düsseldorf, September 18, 2017 – As part of a project of Japan”s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Asahi Kasei Corp. verified a newly developed process for diphenyl carbonate (DPC), a monomer used to produce polycarbonate (PC), which is used to make parts for vehicles, home appliances, etc., via Dialkyl carbonate (DRC), at its Mizushima Works (Urashiki, Okayama, Japan). The stability and operability of the process was confirmed through over 1,000 hours of continuous operation. Compared to the conventional process, the new process successfully reduces energy consumption and CO2 emission while using CO2 as a safe feedstock.
Asahi Kasei will continue to verify the economy and energy efficiency of the new process, and work toward its further optimization as a highly energy-efficient process that utilizes CO2.

Outline of the validation plant

Project period: Fiscal 2014-2016
DPC capacity: 1,000 tons/year
Location: Asahi Kasei Corp. Mizushima Works (Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan)

Overview
NEDO is an organization that supports the development of technology which is expected to have high energy-saving effect, mainly emphasizing “important technology” as listed in the Energy Efficiency Technology Strategy. PC is a resin that is widely used in headlamp covers, personal computer housings, CDs, DVDs, etc. Interfacial polymerization1, which uses highly toxic phosgene, is the conventional process to produce PC. In addition to safety issues, the conventional process also has energy consumption issues to be solved. As part of a NEDO project2, in 2015 Asahi Kasei began construction of a validation plant at its Mizushima Works to verify its newly developed process to produce DPC via DRC (the DRC process for DPC) to overcome these issues. Stability and operability as an industrial process was also confirmed through over 1,000 hours of continuous operation. Asahi Kasei has successfully established the non-phosgene process using CO2 as a safe feedstock, enabling not only reduced energy consumption but also reduced CO2 emission.

Asahi Kasei will continue to verify the economy and energy efficiency of the new process, and work toward its further optimization. Specifically, the company aims to achieve commercialization of the new highly energy-efficient process using CO2 with reduced energy consumption through improved yield, and to establish technology for stable production by optimizing operating conditions and equipment. Validation of the new process will strengthen the licensing business Asahi Kasei established with its previously developed non-phosgene process for PC3 which is used around the world including in China, Korea, Taiwan, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. We have a strong track record of licensing our current non-phosgene process for polycarbonate. Validation of the new process will enable us to further expand this licensing business worldwide with greater competitiveness. For that purpose, we will continue to verify the economy and energy efficiency of the new process and work toward its further optimization as we aim for commercialization.

Results of the validation
The DRC process for DPC utilizes technology which was developed by Asahi Kasei with the support of a NEDO project4, using catalysts to obtain DRC from CO2 and alcohol, and then obtain DPC from DRC and phenol. We have validated the feasibility of the DRC process for DPC through continuous operation to assess catalyst cycling and catalytic performance in both the DRC step, which produces DRC from CO2 and alcohol, and the DPC step, which produces DPC from DRC and phenol, as well as reactor performance and the system to recycle unreacted feedstocks. A flowchart is shown below.

About Asahi Kasei

The Asahi Kasei Corporation was founded in Japan in 1922 and is now one of the leading diversified company with operations in the Material, Homes, and Health Care business sectors. From its roots in chemistry, the Material sector encompasses fibers & textiles, petrochemicals, performance polymers, performance materials, consumables, battery separators, and electronic devices. The Homes sector provides housing and construction materials to the Japanese market. The Health Care sector includes pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and acute critical care devices and systems. With more than 30,000 employees around the world, the Asahi Kasei Group serves customers in more than 100 countries.
Asahi Kasei is “Creating for Tomorrow” with all operations sharing a common mission of contributing to life and living for people around the world.
Asahi Kasei Europe GmbH began operations on April 1st, 2016 to expand business in Europe by functioning as a controlling base in the region, mainly focusing on the automotive industry. We”re here to be your innovation partner with our various technologies.

For more information, please contact:

http://www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/asahi/en/

https://www.asahi-kasei.eu/

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Sarah Collisi
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40547 Düsseldorf
Phone: +49 (0)2118822 030
E-Mail: info@asahi-kasei.eu

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