MOBILE, AL - Evonik Industries has begun basic planning for a new methyl methacrylate (MMA) production plant using the AVENEER process at its Mobile, AL, site.Evonik

The large-scale plant, with a production capacity of 120,000 metric tons, is expected to come on-stream in the middle of 2015 and will create up to 100 jobs in Mobile. The project is awaiting necessary approvals.

Methacrylate monomers and their derivatives are the starting materials for products for resource-efficient solutions, such as lightweight construction in the automotive industry.

The AVENEER process is distinguished by an improved carbon footprint, making it particularly eco-friendly. Process CO2 emissions are lower than 1,000 kg CO2 per metric ton of MMA, or a little over half of the current value.

Mobile was chosen as the site for the first MMA plant to use the new AVENEER process because of strong infrastructure and availability of raw materials and power. The location of the site on the Gulf of Mexico also allows delivery by sea to customers all over the world.

AVENEER uses the same starting materials (ammonia, methane, acetone and methanol) as the traditional ACH sulfo process, but does not need sulfuric acid. With an overall yield of 95 percent, AVENEER uses the available resources significantly more efficiently than the current process. An important advantage of the new process is the capability to produce methyl methacrylate and methacrylic acid simultaneously in a single plant.