LyondellBasell Acetyls, LLC is a leading manufacturer and global supplier of acetic acid, combining manufacturing facilities in the United States with an international storage and distribution network to service customers in North America, Europe and Asia.
Benefits and Applications
Acetic acid is one of the world's most important intermediate chemicals, and is used in the manufacture of vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), purified terephthalic acid (PTA), acetic anhydride, monochloroacetic acid (MCA), and acetate esters.
The largest end use for acetic acid is as a raw material for the production of vinyl acetate monomer (VAM). Polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) and copolymers of VAM are used in the manufacture of paints, adhesives, paper coatings, textile treatments and plastics.
Acetic acid is used to produce purified terephthalic acid (PTA), which is a key intermediate for a range of applications, including polyester fibers, bottles for water and soft drinks, photographic film and magnetic tapes.
Another important use for acetic acid is in the production of acetic anhydride. Acetic anhydride has a wide range of applications, the predominant one being the production of cellulose acetate. Cellulose acetate is used to produce textile fibers and cigarette filter tow. Other applications for acetic anhydride are plastics, agricultural chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
Monochloroacetic acid (MCA) is manufactured from acetic acid and chlorine. The primary end use for MCA is carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC). CMC is used in a variety of applications including foods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and textiles. MCA is also used to produce herbicides for agriculture.
Acetic acid is used to produce a broad range of acetate esters; the most important of which are ethyl acetate, n-butyl acetate and isopropyl acetate. These solvents find applications in coatings, inks, adhesives and cosmetics.
Methanol, acetic acid and vinyl acetate monomer products are produced in an integrated chain of manufacturing plants. This integration provides a major logistical advantage at the La Porte, Texas site.
The manufacturing process at the La Porte site starts with natural gas (methane) and pure oxygen. These chemical compounds react continuously in partial oxidation units to produce synthesis gas, a mixture of predominantly carbon monoxide and hydrogen. A portion of the synthesis gas is separated into purity carbon monoxide and a hydrogen-rich stream. This hydrogen and the remaining synthesis gas are fed as raw materials to the methanol unit. The purity carbon monoxide and purified methanol are used to make acetic acid. Finally, acetic acid, along with purchased ethylene and oxygen, is used to produce vinyl acetate monomer.
The carbon monoxide, hydrogen and synthesis gas are supplied on-site by Linde Gas Incorporated. LyondellBasell Acetyls, LLC and Linde Gas Incorporated are partners in the ownership of the methanol unit.