Construction of validation plant for DRC process to produce DPC, a monomer of PC

January 19, 2015
Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp.

Asahi Kasei Chemicals will construct a validation plant at its Mizushima Works (Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan) for its newly developed process to produce diphenyl carbonate (DPC), a monomer used in polycarbonate (PC) production, via dialkyl carbonate (DRC).

Objective of the process validation

Asahi Kasei Chemicals has built a successful business globally licensing its non-phosgene process for PC using CO2 as feedstock. Validation of the new process will enable the company to license it as the intermediate process for DPC, strengthening the competitiveness of the licensing business.

Outline of the new process

The new process uses a catalyst developed by the company to obtain DRC from CO2 and alcohol in the first step, with DPC obtained from DRC and phenol in the second step. As the second step also yields the alcohol which is required for the first step, the only starting materials are CO2 and phenol. The new process therefore provides greater freedom in selection of a plant location than the non-phosgene PC process of Asahi Kasei Chemicals used currently, which relies on ethylene oxide (EO) as feedstock. With fewer process steps, the new process is also more energy-efficient, enabling production costs to be reduced substantially.

By advancing the effective and economical use of CO2 as a feedstock in industrial chemistry, the DRC process for DPC is attracting attention around the world as a significant technology for environmental sustainability.

Flowchart of previously developed non-phosgene PC process

Flowchart of non-phosgene PC process with the DRC process for DPC

Outline of the validation plant

Location:   Asahi Kasei Chemicals Mizushima Works (Kurashiki, Okayama, Japan)
Capacity:   1,000 tons/year
Start-up:   January 2017 (scheduled)
  • Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) provided grants to support the development of the new process and the construction of the validation plant.


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