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    Home > Chemial News > Echemi Focus > Under the plastic restriction order, BDO and adipic acid win opportunities

    Under the plastic restriction order, BDO and adipic acid win opportunities

    Echemi 2021-01-21

    On January 19, 2020, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment announced the "Opinions on Further Strengthening the Treatment of Plastic Pollution". Subsequently, corresponding "plastic restriction orders" were issued across the country. Affected by this, degradable plastics will become "hot" in 2020. Many companies focus on the PBAT industry. New and planned production capacity is increasing rapidly. This will also bring development opportunities for BDO and adipic acid, the main raw materials of PBAT. .

     

    First of all, we first understand what is degradable plastic.

     

    Degradable plastics refer to plastics whose properties of plastics and their products can meet the requirements of use, the properties remain unchanged during the storage period, and can be degraded into environmentally sound substances under natural environmental conditions after use. Therefore, it is also called environmentally degradable plastic.

     

    According to the source of raw materials, plastics can be divided into petroleum-based and bio-based. According to whether it can be degraded, plastics can be divided into non-biodegradable and biodegradable.

     

    Biodegradable plastics refer to materials that are produced from natural substances and are degradable. Commercially available bio-based degradable plastics include: polylactic acid (PLA), regenerated cellulose, starch plastics, polyhydroxy fatty acid ester polymers (PHAs), etc. Among them, polylactic acid (PLA) fiber broke through the technical bottleneck of lactic acid-lactide-polylactic acid and opened up the entire industrial chain of polylactic acid fiber. However, PLA plastic has the defects of too hard texture and poor flexibility, which limits the application range of PLA to a certain extent.

     

    Petroleum-based biodegradable plastics refer to materials that are produced from petrochemical raw materials and are degradable. Commercialized petroleum-based biodegradable plastics include: PBS (polybutylene succinate), PCL (polycaprolactone), PGA (polyethanol), carbon dioxide degradable plastics (generally refers to carbon dioxide and propylene oxide ring PPC), and a class of copolyesters, such as PBAT (polybutylene adipate/terephthalate), PBSA (polybutylene adipate/butylene succinate copolymer), and PBS is also a polyester biodegradable plastic. Among them, PBAT has become the mainstream material in petroleum-based biodegradable plastics. It is directly esterified by AA (adipic acid), PTA (terephthalic acid) and BDO (1,4-butanediol) under the action of a catalyst. It is made by melt polycondensation. In the direct esterification process, raw material consumption and energy consumption are low, and BDO can be directly reused in the production process, reducing environmental pollution. PBAT happens to have good processing properties and film-forming properties. Compared with PLA, the actual amount in the market is larger. This is also the main reason for the "blowout" growth of PBAT's production capacity under construction/planning.

     

    According to incomplete statistics, the current domestic PBAT capacity has reached 317,000 tons, and the project under construction/planning has reached 5.313 million tons. It is expected that 340,000 tons of new capacity will be put on the market in 2021, and the total domestic production capacity will reach 667,000 tons. If all projects under construction/planning are put into production, the total domestic PBAT production capacity will reach 5.63 million tons in the future. Let's take a look at how much impact this huge production capacity will have on its main raw materials BDO and adipic acid.

     

    According to the editor's understanding, the current consumption of PBAT for raw materials is 0.55 tons of BDO, 0.38 tons of adipic acid, and 0.38 tons of PTA. The accuracy is still to be confirmed, please correct me!

     

     

    BDO articles

     

    The current domestic BDO production capacity is 2.254 million tons, and the production capacity is mainly distributed in the northwest region, mainly because it is close to the raw material calcium carbide and methanol production areas. Its downstream is PTMEG, PBT, GBL, PU slurry, TPU, PBAT, etc.

     

    The PBS/PBAT industry accounts for a relatively small part of the downstream BDO, accounting for only about 2.3%. According to a rough estimate, the industry will consume about 30,000 tons of BDO in 2020. However, we have learned that about 340,000 tons of production capacity will be put into operation in 2021, and the total domestic production capacity will reach 667,000 tons. Based on a unit consumption of 0.55 tons, the consumption of BDO by PBAT in 2021 is expected to increase by 100,000 tons + (note: this Considering that the production time of production capacity and the actual production time are concentrated in the second half of the year, a rough estimate). If all the planned production capacity is put into production, the most intuitive consumption for BDO will reach 3.1 million tons. This is the current supply of BDO capacity is far from enough, so it will promote the increase of BDO capacity, of which most companies are existing capacity Expansion of production, or seeking to support the upper and lower industrial chain, self-sufficiency.

     

    Adipic Acid

     

    In 2021, the domestic adipic acid production capacity will be 2.88 million tons, but because the old Liaohua plant maintains a single line operation, Haili’s Jiangsu plant has been idle for a long time after the Yancheng incident and has not been restarted. Shandong Haili’s 75,000-ton plant is operating, Hongye Hehongda has also continued to stop. Hualu Phase II has not yet officially put into production. The output in 2020 will be 1.55 million tons, and the capacity utilization rate will be around 58%.

     

    PBAT accounts for a small proportion of the downstream proportion of adipic acid. According to a rough estimate, the consumption of PBAT to adipic acid in 2020 is only about 15,000 tons. Based on the PBAT production capacity of 667,000 tons in 2021 and the unit consumption of adipic acid of 0.38 tons, the consumption is estimated to increase by about 76,000 tons. If the planned PBAT production capacity is all put into production, the most intuitive consumption of adipic acid will reach 2.14 million tons, bringing new development to the current oversupply adipic acid industry.

     

    To sum up: the implementation of the national plastic restriction order has caused the demand for PBAT to increase sharply since December 2020, and the supply of PBAT is in short supply, making it imperative for new production capacity to enter the market. It is also related to BDO and adipic acid. Bring new development opportunities.

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