Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC; Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Masayuki Waga) announces that its development of a chromium-based ethylene trimerization catalyst for synthesizing 1-hexene has been awarded the 2018 Catalysis Society of Japan (CSJ) Award in the Industrial Field. CSJ is Japan’s leading association in the field of catalyst research.
The award was presented in commendation of MCC’s world’s first achievement in discovering a ultra-high active and selective chromium-based ethylene trimerization catalyst, making a significant contribution to the advancement of selective ethylene oligomerization technology, as well as the fact that production of 1-hexene via a simple and environment-friendly process utilizing this catalyst has been commenced on a commercial scale.
The ethylene trimerization catalyst with ultra-high activity and selectivity, developed by MCC, uses inexpensive triethylaluminium as a co-catalyst. The selectivity of 1-hexene exceeds 95% and the amount of polyethylene generated as a by-product falls below 0.1%. A feature of this catalytic process is that the formation of the catalyst and the ethylene trimerization are simultaneously performed in the reactor. This unique simultaneous contact method makes it possible to form the catalytically active species efficiently without destabilization, achieving ultra-high catalytic performance. The innovativeness of this process was that it eliminated the complicated and expensive catalyst preparation process, simplified the manufacturing process, and conserved energy consumption during production, achieving stable plant operation as well as increased productivity of 1-hexene.
MCC has already introduced process technology using this catalyst, concluding a licensing agreement with a major chemical manufacturer in Thailand in 2014, with production commencing in fiscal 2018.
Going forward, MCC will continue striving to deliver solutions to the issues facing the society by refining its proprietary technology, including catalysts and processes, and proactively working to foster its licensing business.
Source: Mitsubishi Chemical