DARMSTADT, Germany - Evonik Industries has developed a new manufacturing process for methyl methacrylate (MMA) called AVENEER. The new process provides an answer to the question of how future methyl methacrylate monomers and polymers can remain competitive.
“AVENEER represents a quantum leap in MMA technology. With this process, we are further expanding our position as an innovative trendsetter in methyl methacrylate chemistry. We can thereby ensure supplies for our customers in this high-demand market,” stated Gregor Hetzke, head of the Performance Polymers Business Unit.
Like the traditional ACH sulfur process, AVENEER is based on the starting materials ammonia, methane, acetone and methanol, without the additional use of sulfuric acid. The omission of the reprocessing of sulfuric acid, which has now become unnecessary, both saves costs and conserves resources. “We use fewer raw materials for manufacturing, and can thus offer our customers the security of continuing to drive competitive MMA prices in the future,” explained Hetzke.
The new technology also provides more regional and technological flexibility: It can be conducted at typical chemical plants around the world and also allows existing Evonik plants to be reequipped.
“This option presents interesting strategic possibilities to us with the opening of our first world-scale plant,” adds Hetzke. Evonik has proven the feasibility of the new process in test production. In addition to further optimizations, the planning of the first large-scale technical plant will begin in the next few months and could be commissioned in 2012.