Proven Technologies For Reliable Performance
KTS 1,4-Butanediol (BDO) and its derivatives (THF/PTMEG) technologies were originally developed to provide a low-cost, highly efficient route to spandex intermediates. While spandex and other polyurethanes currently represent to major endues, the explosion of demand in bio-degradable plastics, such as PBAT, will soon eclipse these traditional markets.
There are multiple technologies for the manufacture of BDO, THF and PTMEG. The key to success as a manufacturer is low-cost raw materials coupled with world-scale, robust technology delivering advantaged CAPEX and OPEX. The technologies offered by Koch Technology Solutions deliver against all these requirements.
BDO Value Chain (Estimated Global Demand for 2024 - KTA on a BDO Basis
Exploring Our 1,4-Butanediol & Derivatives
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).
Tetrahydrofuran (THF) is a key intermediate in the production of PTMEG. This market currently consumes ~70% of THF produced globally. The remaining THF is used as a solvent used in pharmaceutical production and other markets.
Polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) is the premium component for a wide variety of polyurethanes, polyesters, and polyamide elastomers. It reacts with isocyanates or organic acids to form elastomers. Primary end-uses include spandex, castable polyurethanes, thermoplastic polyurethanes, polyurethane coatings and sealants.
Markets and Applications
The growth in any chemical intermediate is ultimately driven by consumer products and market preferences for differentiated products two or three or more steps downstream of the intermediate. Highly efficient technologies delivering high-quality, low-cost intermediates are required to make these consumer products available at an affordable price.
Enhanced Scale and Efficiency
In 2008, KTS (then INVISTA) made its world-leading PTMEG technology available for license. Over the course of the next 6+ years, spandex intermediates doubled. Consumer demand for bio-degradable polymers is currently on the rise and PBAT (polybutylene adipate terephthalate) is one option. The high-cost intermediate in this polymer is BDO. KTS has increased the scale of our largest plant by 3X and has implemented process improvements to improve the capital productivity and reduce the operating cost. This, in turn, should make the end product, PBAT, more cost competitive and help meet the growing demand in this market segment.