Eastman and Johnson Matthey Davy develop new ethylene glycol technology
Mary Page Bailey
Eastman Chemical Company (Kingsport, Tenn.; www.eastman.com), in conjunction with Johnson Matthey Davy Technologies Limited (JM Davy), has developed advanced proprietary technology for the production of ethylene glycol from synthesis gas-based feedstocks. Ethylene glycol, commonly referred to as mono ethylene glycol (MEG), is a key industrial chemical and is also a building block in the production of polyesters for fiber and packaging applications. This new technology enables the production of MEG from a variety of raw materials, including coal, natural gas, or biomass and is based on new, proprietary catalysts and process design developed by Eastman and JM Davy. Unlike other recent syngas based processes, this new technology does not go through oxalate intermediates. Extensive pilot plant demonstration of the new process is nearing completion and dialogue is underway for the first demonstration.