Polymer Technology

KTS has a range of polymerisation technology capacities and has licensed the largest single-stream CP plant in the world. With our 3-vessel technology, KTS has achieved over 1700 tpd of resin production with 2200 tpd currently being offered. We offer split lines fed from a single esterifier that can give customers increased flexibility of products and additive packages for each line. Split line designs of 3000 tpd are available.

Our continuous polymerisation technology is suitable for all polyester applications, film, packaging resin and fibre. We license our polymer technology in collaboration with our partners, Chemtex Global Corporation and Polymetrix AG.

Key Features of Our Technology

Our technology is simple but efficient. It is built on many years of polyester experience and offers these key advantages:

  • 3-vessel technology (4- and 5-vessel technology also available to meet specific client needs).
  • Minimum moving parts.
  • Low capital cost.
  • Superior performance and reliability.
  • Extended running between overhauls.
  • Superb product quality.
  • Maximum output from just three vessels.

How It Works​

PET polymer is produced by the reaction of PTA and MEG and subsequent polymerisation of the oligomer produced. There are 2 main reactions at the heart of the process.

The esterification reaction takes place in a reactor incorporating a heat exchanger and vapour separator connected with a recirculation pipe. This enables excellent mixing at high recirculation rates with no moving parts – no pumps, no motors, no agitators to cause mechanical failures. The reactor is continuously fed with a slurry of PTA and excess MEG.

MEG and PTA are reacted to form oligomer and water. The water and glycol vapour from the reactor are separated by distillation and the glycol fed back to the feed vessel. Typical reaction conditions are 260°C to 280°C and atmospheric pressure. The feed to the reactor has an excess of glycol to promote the reversible reaction typically in the molar ratio 1.6 to 1.8:1.

The resultant oligomer is continuously fed forward to the pre-polymeriser reactor. Here, the oligomer travels up the reactor where it is reacted in the presence of a catalyst under vacuum conditions and temperatures up to 295°C (typically 290°C ) to produce pre-polymer and glycol. The glycol and other volatiles are removed from the system through a series of spray condensers and the glycol is recycled back to the slurry feed system.

Pre-polymer is the fed to the finisher reactor where the final polymerisation takes place under vacuum conditions and temperatures up to 295°C (typically 290°C ). Here the polymer viscosity is increased to the required specification. The polymer is then chipped.


KTS’ technology provides high quality products with additive packages that can be tailored to customers’ requirements and those of their customers. Our knowledgeable team of engineers and chemists can help manufacturers get the most from their plant by optimising process conditions.

KTS has developed new patented process technologies for the recycled PET market. We offer solutions that manage the interface between chemical recycling technologies and our continuous polymerisation units. This ensures optimum plant capacity and product quality with a recycled feedstock and circumvents the processing problems inherent in the use of recycled PET.

KTS can also offer a tailored integrated PTA-PET solution for customers intending to build co-located PTA & PET assets. Our position as a single-source supplier of PTA and PET know-how brings unique benefits to a project:

  • Single license and performance guarantees across both technologies.
  • Seamless interface between technologies.
  • Training, commissioning and plant start-up support.
  • Post plant-acceptance technical support for optimisation and operations management.
  • PTA and PET experienced knowledge pool located in a single organisation that can be utilised to respond to operational/process queries.

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