Ethyl Acetate A Techno-Commercial Profile by gdf57j


									                                                                                                       Product Focus

Ethyl Acetate: A Techno-Commercial Profile

INTRODUCTION                                                  manufacture, but the larger ones use continuous

        thyl acetate is a colourless liquid with a fruity     columns with a reboiler for the reaction. The water
        odour, having a molecular weight of 88.10. It         formed in the reaction (and also from the 95% alcohol
        is slightly soluble in water and soluble in most      used as raw material) is removed continuously. Condi-
organic solvents, such as alcohol, acetone, ether and         tions are such as to ensure maximum conversion of
chloroform. It finds use as a solvent in a wide range of      acetic acid, which is costlier than ethyl alcohol.
applications, across many industries, including:
                                                                             TABLE 1
   Surface coating and thinners: Ethyl acetate is one            SPECIFICATIONS OF ETHYL ACETATE
of the most popular solvents and finds wide use in the                    USED IN INDIA
manufacture of nitrocellulose lacquers, varnishes and         Property                        Value
thinners. It exhibits high dilution ratios with both aro-
matic and aliphatic diluents and is the least toxic of        Clarity                         Clear, colourless liquid
industrial organic solvents.                                  Ester contents                  99.0
                                                                (% by mass, Min)
   Pharmaceuticals: Ethyl acetate is an important com-        Acidity as acetic acid          0.01
ponent in extractants for the concentration and purifi-         (% by mass, Max)
cation of antibiotics. It is also used as an intermediate     Water content                   0.1
in the manufacture of various drugs.                            (% by mass, Max)
                                                              Residue on evaporation          0.01
   Flavours and essences: Ethyl acetate finds exten-            (% by mass, Max)
sive use in the preparation of synthetic fruit essences,      Relative density at 2/27°C      0.894 -0.898
flavours and perfumes.                                        Distillation range              Shall distil within the
                                                                (at 760 mm Hg), not less      range of 76-78°C
   Flexible packaging: Substantial quantities of ethyl          than 95 % by volume
acetate are used in the manufacture of flexible packag-
ing and in the manufacture of polyester films and BOPP        Developments in process
films. It is also used in the treatment of aluminium foils.      Most commercial production is by esterification of
                                                              acetic acid with ethanol or liquid-phase oxidation of
   Miscellaneous: Ethyl acetate is used in the manu-          n-butane with ethyl acetate as a by product, but some
facture of adhesives, cleaning fluids, inks, nail-polish      material is also made by condensation of acetaldehyde.
removers and silk, coated papers, explosives, artificial
leather, photographic films & plates.                            Several new technologies have been commercialised.
                                                              BP’s new Avada process, employed in a new plant at
Manufacture                                                   Hull, UK, uses ethylene and acetic acid with solid acid
   Ethyl acetate is produced by the esterification reac-      catalyst. Davy Process Technology (formerly Kvaerner)
tion of ethyl alcohol and acetic acid using catalysts such    has licensed its ethanol-based process to Sasol; in this
as sulphuric acid, para toluene sulphonic acid or ion         process ethanol is dehydrogenated to acetaldehyde,
exchange resins. Most of the production in India is based     which further reacts to form ethyl acetate.
on sulphuric acid catalysis; very little acid is required,
though corrosion is a problem if material of construc-           Chinese National Petroleum has developed a one-
tion is not appropriate.                                      step ethanol process where ethanol is partially oxidised
                                                              to acetic acid and then esterified with excess ethanol to
   There are small producers using batch process for          give ethyl acetate.
CHEMICAL WEEKLY                                                                                      AUGUST 10, 2004 s 179
Product Focus
    PRESENT STATUS IN INDIA                                      during the period 1996-97 to 2003-04. The capacity
       Until few years ago there were more than two dozen        utilisation during 2003-04 was 75%.
    units – both in the organised and small-scale sector –
    making ethyl acetate. However, after globalisation,                               TABLE 3
    consolidation and restructuring has resulted into                           PRODUCTION TRENDS
    unviable units moving out of the business. Today, there                      IN ETHYL ACETATE
    are only nine units in operation, with a total capacity of                                                   [Tons]
    121,500-tpa (see Table 2).                                   Years                                     Production

       Jubilant Organosys Ltd. (formerly VAM Organics),          1990-91                                        18,700
    Laxmi Organics, Industrial Organics (formerly Trident        1996-97                                        48,000
    Alco-chem) and Somaiya Organics are the four major           2001-02                                        65,000
    producers constituting 90% of the total capacity and         2002-03                                        75,000
    90% of the total production.                                 2003-04                                        90,000
                                                                 Source: Industry
       Production of ethyl acetate is estimated to have grown
    from 18,700-tons in 1990-91 to 48,000-tons in 1996-          Foreign trade
    97 and further to 90,000-tons in 2003-04. Production            Small quantities of ethyl acetate are imported into
    has registered a growth rate of 17% per annum during         the country, while good quantities are exported. Table
    the period 1990-91 to 1996-97 and 11% per annum              4 and Table 5 provide import end export statistics dur-
                                         TABLE 2
                                        Location                 Installed           Estimated    Status
                                                                 capacity           production
    Laxmi Organic Industries Ltd.       Mahad, Mah.                30,000              24,000
    Jubilant Organosys Ltd.             Nira, Mah.
                                        Gajraula, U.P.             49,500               30,000
    Somaiya Organics Ltd.               U.P.                       15,000               15,000
    Industrial Organics Ltd.            Ludhiana, Pun.             16,500                   n.a
    Dhampur Alco-Chem Ltd.              Delhi                       9,000                   n.a
    Sanjivani SSK                       Ahmednagar, Mah.            2,400                   n.a   Partially operating
    Indian Organics                     Khopoli, Mah.               9,000                     0   Closed
    Ashok Organics                      Nandasari, Guj.             1,800                   n.a
    Trichy Distilleries                 Trichy, T.N.                1,800                   n.a
    King Chemicals                      T.N.                        3,600                     0   Closed
    Ester Industries Ltd.               Delhi                       7,000                     0   Closed
    Mysore Acetate                      Mandia, Kar.                  600                     0   Closed
    Andhra Sugars                       Tanuku, A.P.                1,268                     0   Closed
    Vamotivala                          Mumbai, Mah.                1,800                     0   Closed
    Pentokey Organics                   Mumbai, Mah.                5,000                   n.a   Partially operating
    Krishna Orgochem                                                1,200                     0   Closed
    Ichalkaranji                        Ichalkaranji, Mah.          1,800                     0   Closed
    EID Parry                           Thyagavalli, T.N.           1,500                     0   Closed
    Total                                                         158,768               90,000
    Total capacity in operation                                   121,500               90,000
    Source: Industry

180 s AUGUST 10, 2004                                                                                 CHEMICAL WEEKLY
                                                                                                             Product Focus
ing the last few years. As can be seen, imports have                            TABLE 7
been fluctuating between 100 to 600-tons, although                    PRICE TREND IN ETHYL ACETATE
there are market indications that they have increased                                        [Rs. Per kg]
substantially in the last couple of months. The unit CIF      Period                         Basic bulk        Market rate
value paid on imports has also been fluctuating.
                                                              May 2003                             28.00               39.00
   As can be observed from Table 5, exports have been         June 2003                            28.00               38.50
witnessing an increasing trend and have grown from            Aug. 2003                            27.50               37.50
1,474-tons in 1998-99 to 28,948-tons in 2002-03 and           Sep. 2003                            28.00               38.00
to estimated figure of 32,000-tons in 2003-04. The to-        Oct. 2003                            27.50               37.50
tal value of exports during 2002-03 was Rs. 94.70-            Nov. 2003                            27.50               37.00
crore.                                                        Dec. 2003                            29.00               39.00
                                                              Jan. 2004                            28.50               38.50
   The unit FOB value realised from exports is in the         Feb. 2004                            29.00               39.00
range of Rs. 29-33 per kg. The major destination of           March 2004                           31.00               41.00
exports are UAE, Taiwan, Netherlands, Malaysia, Iran,         April 2004                           34.00               45.00
Egypt, Sri Lanka and Thailand.                                May 2004                             35.00               47.00
                                                              June 2004                            38.00               52.00
                  TABLE 4
                                                              July 2004                            40.00               54.00
                                                              Note: Market rate is for packed material and includes Excise Duty
Year              Quantity       Value Unit value
                    [Tons] [Rs. Lakhs]  [Rs/Kg]               Consumption pattern and demand
1998-1999            165.77           15.97        96.33         The present total demand for ethyl acetate is esti-
1999-2000            604.12           20.39        33.74      mated to be in the region of 90,000-tons. This consti-
2000-2001            129.06           11.51        89.19      tutes domestic demand of 55,000-tons and export de-
2001-2002             91.63            9.19       100.27      mand of 35,000-tons.
2002-2003            362.55           22.46        61.95
Source: DGCIS
                                                                Table 8 provides the pattern of consumption during
                TABLE 5
        EXPORTS OF ETHYL ACETATE                                             TABLE 8
                                                                   CONSUMPTION PATTERN OF ETHYL
Year              Quantity       Value Unit value                        ACETATE [2003-04]
                    [Tons] [Rs. million] [Rs/Kg]
                                                              Sector                    Consumption                    Share
1998-1999          1,474.12           42.75         29.00                                    [Tons]                     [%]
1999-2000          5,832.65         1,46.25         25.07
2000-2001          7,027.47         2,32.12         33.03     Paints & Inks                     13,750                   25.0
2001-2002          9,630.20         2,98.99         31.04     Adhesives                          5,500                   10.0
2002-2003         28,948.83         9,47.13         32.72     Flexible packaging                13,750                   25.0
2003-2004         35,000.00              —             —      Pharma                            11,000                   20.0
Source: DGCIS
                                                              Al. Foils                          5,500                   10.0
                                                              Electronics                        1,650                    3.0
Price trend                                                   Misc. uses                         3,850                    7.0
   The current basic price of ethyl acetate for bulk sales    Total                             55,000                 100.0
is Rs. 40 per kg exclusive of excise and sales tax. The
price of the packed material in carbouys is ruling around     Paints
Rs. 54 per kg, excluding sales tax. The trend in the prices     The paints and printing ink industry are the biggest
over the period of last two years is given in Table 7.        consumers of ethyl acetate in India. It is used as a sol-
CHEMICAL WEEKLY                                                                                          AUGUST 10, 2004 s 181
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                                             TABLE 6
                                                                  [Quantity in Tons; Value in Rs. Million]
                                           2000-01                2001-02                    2002-03
                                    Qty              Val        Qty         Val           Qty          Val
    Australia                    115.20              3.81    216.00         6.66       337.60       11.37
    Bangladesh                    14.40              0.38     65.80         2.52       280.00        9.55
    Barbados                      28.80              0.93
    Belgium                                                                            236.15        9.39
    Brazil                          0.25             0.06
    China                                                                              662.30       17.23
    Colombia                                                    0.85      0.02
    Cyprus                                                    168.80      5.19
    Egypt                        260.00              8.81   1,141.00     34.52        1,822.20      60.24
    Germany                                                                             220.22      11.43
    Greece                                                    14.40         0.43        387.80      14.17
    Hong Kong                    115.20              3.13     28.80         0.68        135.12       5.32
    Iran                                                       0.01                   2,607.60      79.51
    Israel                       144.40              4.59    404.51      13.35          445.60      15.05
    Italy                                                                               616.49      22.59
    Jamaica                       72.00              2.39
    Japan                         20.80              0.79      28.80      0.70
    Jordan                                                     54.00      2.29         286.38        8.89
    Kenya                        130.05              4.27     273.65      8.42         156.80        5.19
    Korea North                                               204.75      5.18
    Lebanon                                                    72.00      2.19          547.20      17.97
    Malaysia                     561.67          19.43      1,297.20     42.73        2,720.48      81.27
    Maldives                                                                              0.20       0.01
    Mauritius                      0.50
    Nepal                                                                                24.60       0.68
    Netherlands                    0.40              0.08                             2,803.07     120.89
    Netherlands Antilles                                                                569.23      17.91
    New Zealand                                               59.00         2.11         43.20       1.57
    Nigeria                       14.25              0.46                                57.20       1.59
    Oman                         193.80              5.64    208.45         7.56        100.40       3.34
    Pakistan                      11.00              0.85
    Philippines                                                                          14.40       0.44
    Russia                                                                               21.00       0.63
    Saudi Arabia                  14.40              0.47    489.60      15.09          451.60      15.71
    Singapore                     49.30              1.52    402.40      11.52          315.04      10.62
    Slovenia                                                                             40.79       1.95
    South Africa                                              42.80         1.36         92.00       2.99
    Spain                                                                               261.56       9.30
    Sri Lanka                      0.37              0.05      28.40      0.89        1,014.60      35.18
    Syria                                                      43.20      1.18           86.40       2.78
    Taiwan                      1,460.15         45.95      1,086.64     27.76        2,536.61      66.99
    Tanzania                                                   14.40      0.44
    Thailand                     172.80              5.24     129.80      4.00        1,176.87      33.91
    Tunisia                                                                              14.40       0.35
    Turkey                                                                              229.20       7.73
    Turks C Islands                                                                     379.80      13.56
    UAE                         3,627.15        113.44      3,062.72     89.61        6,995.83     221.60
    USA                             6.19          9.33          6.23      9.94
    Vietnam                                                    14.40      0.46         129.60        4.16
    Yemen                         14.40              0.48      71.60      2.20         128.80        4.07
    Total                       7,027.47        232.12      9,630.21    298.99       28,948.33     947.14

182 s AUGUST 10, 2004                                                                   CHEMICAL WEEKLY
                                                                                                        Product Focus
vent in the manufacture of nitrocellulose based paints,       prices of ethyl acetate. It is used as a solvent and reac-
thinners & varnishes. In fact, ethyl acetate was the most     tant in the manufacture of drugs such as sulpha-
preferred solvent by the paints and printing inks indus-      methoxazole, rifampicin etc. The total consumption by
try around five-years back, accounting for around 50%         this sector is presently estimated at 11,000-tons.
of total consumption. However, its share in this indus-
try has come down sharply to 25% due to greater use           Aluminium foils
of cheaper solvents such as acetone, MIBK, etc. Higher           Ethyl acetate finds usage in the treatment of alu-
prices of ethyl acetate have prompted many paint and          minium foils & sheets. It is also used during the screen
ink consumers to switchover to cheaper solvents.              printing stage. India Foils Ltd., Kolkata; Indian Alu-
                                                              minium Co. Ltd., Thane; and P.G. Foils, Rajasthan are
   The consumption of ethyl acetate in paints and inks        the three manufacturers of aluminium foils. The con-
segment is estimated to be in the region of 13,750-tons,      sumption of ethyl acetate by this sector is 5,500-tons.
constituting 25% of total demand in 2003-04.
                                                                  Small quantities of ethyl acetate are also used in the
   This end-use accounts for around 10% of total con-
                                                              manufacture of video/audio tapes. Magnetic media of
sumption. Converters & Adhesives Chemicals Ltd.,
                                                              tapes are purified with ethyl acetate. It is also used for
Navi Mumbai is the biggest user in this segment. Total
                                                              head cleaning, etc. In fact, ethyl acetate of 99.7% qua-
consumption by the adhesives industry is estimated at
                                                              lity is the best solvent for cleaning, etc. However, pro-
5,500-tons annually.
                                                              duction is concentrated in the small scale sector. The
                                                              consumption by this sector is estimated in the region of
Flexible packaging & lamination
    Ethyl acetate due to its fast evaporating properties
is used in flexible packaging industry at the screen print-
                                                              Miscellaneous uses
ing stage. This industry has emerged as one of the bulk
                                                                 The other minor applications of ethyl acetate include
consumers of ethyl acetate. The packaging industry was
                                                              its applications in the textiles, dyestuffs, explosives,
hardly recognised as an industry about three decades
                                                              photographic films & plates, artificial leather, etc.
back, but recognition came, and that too at a galloping
                                                              Around 300-tons of ethyl acetate are being consumed
pace. Today, it has attained the status of a large scale
                                                              by ordinance factories for use in explosives. These mis-
industry, which boasts not only of technological ad-
                                                              cellaneous uses account for a total consumption of
vancement, but also of meeting export needs. Out of
                                                              3,850-tons, constituting 7% of total consumption.
the various packing products, flexible laminates are
enjoying a healthy growth rate. The industry is enjoy-
                                                              Future demand for ethyl acetate
ing growth of around 15% per annum.
                                                                 Among the different end-use segments of ethyl ace-
                                                              tate, the packaging, adhesives and pharmaceutical in-
   Some of the major manufacturers of flexible pack-
                                                              dustries is enjoying a healthy growth rate in the range
aging are: Flex Industry Ltd., Delhi; Garware Plastics
                                                              of 12 to 15% per annum. The growth rates in other
& Polyesters Ltd.; Essel Packing Ltd., Mumbai; Ester
                                                              segments, such as paints, foils, electronics etc. is ex-
Industries Ltd.; Sharp Industries Ltd., Mumbai; Bakelite
                                                              pected to be in the region of around 5-7% per annum.
Hylam Ltd.; Flexo Films Ltd.; and Cosmo Films Ltd.
                                                              Sources within the industry are expecting an average
                                                              growth rate of around 8% per annum.
   The total consumption of ethyl acetate in this sector
is estimated at 13,750-tons, constituting 25% of total
                                                                 Based on this growth rate, the domestic demand for
                                                              ethyl acetate is estimated to be around 75,000-tons by
Pharmaceuticals                                               2007-08. As far as export demand is concerned, ac-
   Like the paints industry, the pharmaceuticals was          cording to industry sources the demand has already
also one of the major users of ethyl acetate five-years       peaked and may not increase, in future, but may de-
ago, accounting for 35% of total consumption. This            cline due to alcohol shortage within the country and
share has also come down to 20% again due to rising           high prices of raw materials.
CHEMICAL WEEKLY                                                                                     AUGUST 10, 2004 s 183
Product Focus
    GLOBAL SCENARIO                                              trial lacquers and surface coating resins. It is also used
       The total global capacity for ethyl acetate is esti-      as an extraction solvent in the production of pharma-
    mated to be in the region of 1.5-mt and the production       ceuticals and food and as a carrier solvent for herbi-
    at around 1.3-mt. BP Chemicals, UK; Showa Denka,             cides. About 60% of demand is in coatings. Process
    Japan; Rhodia Brasil, Brazil; and Celanese, US are the       solvents, including pharmaceuticals and organic syn-
    major producers (see Table 9).                               thesis, account for 15% of demand, as does printing
                                                                 inks. Miscellaneous uses, including adhesives and cos-
    Consumption pattern                                          metics, account for 10% of consumption.
       Ethyl acetate is an active solvent that is available in
    three grades: 85-88%, 99% and 99.5% (urethane grade).        Europe
    The most popular grade, 99% is mainly used in indus-           The European markets are suffering from weak de-
                                              TABLE 9
                               MAJOR GLOBAL ETHYL ACETATE PRODUCERS
                                                                                                              [’000 TPA]
    Company                                     Location                                                        Capacity
    Aliachem                                    Pardubice, Czech Republic                                              12
    Atanor                                      Buenos Aires, Argentina                                                10
    BP Chemicals                                Hull, UK                                                              220
    Celanese                                    La Cangrejera, Mexico                                                  92
                                                Pampa, Texas, US                                                       60
                                                Pulau Sakra, Singapore                                                 60
    Chiba Ethyl Acetate                         Ichihara, Japan                                                        50
    Eastman                                     Kingsport, Tennessee, US                                               27
                                                Longview, Texas, US                                                    32
    Ercros                                      Tarragona, Spain                                                       60
    International Ester                         Ulsan, South Korea                                                     75
    Jubilant Organosys                          Gajraula and Nira, India                                               32
    Korea Alcohol Industrial                    Ulsan, South Korea                                                     25
    Kyowa Hakko Kogyo                           Yokkaichi, Japan                                                       40
    Laxmi Organic Industries                    Mahad, India                                                           35
    Rhodia Brasil                               Paulinia, Brazil                                                      100
    Sasol                                       Secunda, South Africa                                                  50
    Shandong Jinyimeng Chemical                 Shandong, China                                                        80
    Shanghai Jinyimeng Chemical                 Wujing, China                                                          30
    Showa Denko                                 Nanyo, Japan                                                          150
    Showa Esterindo Indonesia                   Merak, Indonesia                                                       60
    Solutia                                     Antwerp, Belgium, Springfield                                          12
                                                Massachusetts, US                                                      14
                                                Treton, Michigan, US                                                   11
    Svensk Etanolkemi                           Domsjo, Sweden                                                         35
    Union Carbide                               Stockholm, Sweden                                                      30
    Yangtze River Acetyls                       Chongging, China                                                       30
    Others                                                                                                             83
    Total                                                                                                            1515
    Source: ECN

184 s AUGUST 10, 2004                                                                                   CHEMICAL WEEKLY
                                                                                                           Product Focus
mand and excess availability. The economic slowdown             Japan
has impacted consumption this year, particularly in the            In Japan, Showa Denko set up a 55:45 joint venture
printing inks and coatings. Supply has also lengthened          with Kyowa Hakko Kogyo, called Japan Ethyl Acetate,
following the restart of BP’s Hull, UK plant in late            and the partners are converting an idled acetic acid fa-
2002 after a six-month long outage and this, together           cility at Oita to produce 100,000-tpa of ethyl acetate.
with players fighting for market share, has added to            Production was expected to start in April this year.
pressure on prices. Import volumes have declined, par-          Kyowa Hakko will then close its existing unit in
ticularly in the second half of this year. Less material is     Yokkaichi.
now available from Russia, where output has been re-
duced and plants focus instead on the production and            The US Scenario
export of acetic acid feedstock. Future demand growth              In the US, Celanese, Eastman, and Solutia are the
in Europe is put at 2-3% per year. No new capacity is           major producers with a total combined capacity of
planned, or likely, in Europe. Most capital investment is       0.132-mt.
targeted for Asia, and China in particular, where demand
is growing rapidly. The Southeast Asian paints and coat-                       TABLE 10
ings market is expected to grow at 5-6% per year.                    ETHYL ACETATE CAPACITY IN U.S.
                                                                Producer                            Annual        Annual
Asia-Pacific                                                                                      capacity       capacity
China                                                                                          [million lbs]       [tons]
   Between 1990 and 2000, China increased capacity
for ethyl acetate by over 14% and output by around              Celanese, Pampa, Tex.                   130       59,091
15%. Imports remained at a high level. The acetic acid/         Eastman, Kingsport, Tenn.                59       26,818
ethanol esterification process is used by most produ-           Eastman, Longview, Tex.                  51       23,182
cers in China and the operating rate is relatively low.         Solutia, Springfield, Ma.                30       13,636
Larger acetate units completed since 2001 include a             Solutia, Trenton, Mich.                  24       10,909
30,000-tpa unit in May 2001 by Shandong Jinyimeng               Total                                   294      133,636
Group, which now has a capacity of 80,000-tpa. In all,          Source: Chemical Market Reporter
China has over 30 producers with a total capacity of
around 391,700-tpa and an output of around 200,000-                Capacities are extremely flexible, as ethyl acetate
tons during 2002. Shandong Jinyimeng Group and                  can be made in the same equipment used to produce
Yangzijiang Acetyl Chemical Co Ltd. are the two lead-           other acetate esters, depending on demand. Most com-
ing producers among the top-ten producers, with a ca-           mercial production is by esterification of acetic acid
pacity of 80,000-tpa each.                                      with ethanol or liquid-phase oxidation of n-butane with
                                                                ethyl acetate as a by product, but some material is made
   China imported 45,800-tons of ethyl acetate in 2002          by condensation of acetaldehyde. The demand for ethyl
and exported 11,000-tons. The apparent consumption of           acetate in US was 71,000-tons in 2001 and 68,000-
ethyl acetate in China is about 238,200-tons, which is          tons in 2002. Demand for the year 2006 is projected at
expected to rise to 260,000-tons in 2005. While ethyl ace-      81,000-tons.
tate is used mostly in inks and coatings worldwide, in China
the main applications are pharmaceuticals and adhesives.           The historical growth during the period 1997-2002
Several new plants are slated in China for post-2004.           was -5.3% per year. Ethyl acetate is used for a variety
Showa Denko is considering building a new plant in China        of solvent and vehicle applications: Coatings, 60%;
or expanding its Indonesian subsidiary by 20,000-tpa in a       Process solvent, including pharmaceuticals and organic
span of two years. If the company decides to build in China,    synthesis, 15%; Printing inks, 15%; Miscellaneous, in-
it will be in either Shanghai-Nanjing or Hong Kong-             cluding adhesives and cosmetics, 10%.
Guangdong, as these are areas where ethyl acetate de-
mand is strongest. The additional output will take the firm’s      Ethyl acetate is used as a solvent in a variety of coat-
overall capacity to 300,000-tpa, making it the world’s big-     ing formulations including epoxies, urethanes,
gest manufacturer of ethyl acetate, surpassing BP.              cellulosics, acrylics and vinyls. These coatings are used
CHEMICAL WEEKLY                                                                                        AUGUST 10, 2004 s 185
Product Focus
    for wood furniture and fixtures, agricultural, construc-   ethyl acetate exports were increasing at a rate even
    tion and mining equipment, containers and closures,        higher than the domestic demand decline, 6.5%. The
    auto refinishing, and maintenance and marine applica-      market, however, was balanced by a decline in imported
    tions. Over the past twenty years, ethyl acetate coat-     material, amounting to -6.8% annually.
    ings have been losing share to waterborne and high-
    solids coatings, powder and two-component coatings            With signs of the economy turning around ethyl ace-
    systems, due to environmental constraints on volatile      tate demand is already up considerably in 2003. Total
    organic compound (VOC) emissions. This conversion          demand for the year is projected to be 175-mn pounds
    has apparently run its course, and that market which       – a considerable turnaround from the past five years.
    still remains should begin growing again, but at less      Consistent with this, exported product is down consi-
    than GDP growth.                                           derably over last year (down 20%, annualised), while
                                                               imported product is up 50% over 2002. For the fore-
       Ethyl acetate is used as a solvent in inks for          cast period through 2006, demand growth is estimated
    flexographic and rotogravure printing, where its main      to be 3.4% per year; with most of the growth occurring
    function is to dissolve the resin, control the viscosity   this year, then 2.0% per year thereafter.
    and modify the drying rate. As with industrial coat-
    ings, the decline in the use of acetate because of envi-   South America
    ronmental constraints has largely been completed and          The Brazilian company Cloroetil will use Davy Pro-
    future growth is estimated to be a healthy 3% per an-      cess Technology’s single-stage ethyl acetate process in its
    num.                                                       50,000-tpa ethyl acetate plant at Sao Paulo, Brazil. In-
                                                               vestment in the plant is e21.5-mn ($25.5-mn). The con-
       While demand has fallen during the past five years,     struction contract for the plant has been awarded to
    averaging a decline of 5% per year, production has held    Ferrostaal. Construction of the plant would have begun in
    relatively steady at 270-mn pounds. During this time,      March 2004 and completion is scheduled for end-2005.

186 s AUGUST 10, 2004                                                                                 CHEMICAL WEEKLY

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