BDO Technology

Butanediol (BDO) is a key intermediate in the manufacturing supply chain supporting consumer demand for bio-degradable plastics (PBAT), Spandex stretch fabric (PTMEG), fuel-efficient vehicles and light-weight alternatives to steel (PBT) and batteries/fuel cells for electric vehicles (GBL). KTS licenses proven BDO technology that has been refined and improved by more than 40 years of operating experience.


Robust and efficient process from low-cost acetylene.

Low capital cost due to highly active catalyst.

Low-cost catalyst.

High-purity process.


Over 40 years of operating experience and technology improvement.

How It Works

The chemistry to manufacture BDO from acetylene and formaldehyde is well-established and comprises two primary steps.

While the chemistry is straightforward, the reactants must be handled with care and the process must be designed to ensure safe operation. The KTS process utilizes a highly active catalyst in Step 1 that allows us to design a one or two reactor for a 100 kta BDO plant while other processes are configured with three reactors in series for each line and five parallel lines.

Our Step 2 hydrogenation reactors are designed for high-pressure hydrogenation to ensure the highest yield to BDO and minimum color forming unsaturated in the final product. Other available technologies utilize low and medium pressure hydrogenation reactors, and the story is similar to Step 1. At 100 kta scale, we utilize two primary reactors and one secondary reactor. The other available technology employs three reactors per line and five lines in parallel. In total, a KTS BDO plant at 100 kta is designed for either four or five total reactors whereas the other available technology requires 30 reactors. At 300 kta scale, our design requires only seven reactors compared to 48 for the next best alternative.


KTS’ base technology offering includes a Process and Basic Design Package (PBDP), technical services to support detailed design, procurement, commissioning and start-up, training and on-going post-acceptance technical services. In addition, we can leverage the capabilities across Koch Engineered Solutions to customize our offer and include equipment supply, project management service and other project execution options to meet our license needs.

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