WICHITA, KAN. (May 31, 2:05 p.m. ET) — Nylon resin and fibers leader Invista officially has launched a new technology used to make adiponitrile (ADN), a key nylon 6/6 feedstock.
Wichita-based Invista spent more than $40 million over a four-year period to develop the technology, officials said in a recent news release. The new technology can improve product yields, reduce energy consumption and lower carbon dioxide emissions, they added.
“We are now ready to deploy the new technology on a commercial scale,” Bill Greenfield, nylon intermediates executive vice president, said in the release. “We have been working aggressively for more than a year on the initial implementation of this new technology.”
For more than two years, Invista has been operating a pilot-scale plant using the new technology at its research and development center in Orange, Texas. The technology might be used commercially in Orange, as well as at an Invista plant in Victoria, Texas, and a plant under construction in Shanghai.
Invista officials estimated that more than 75 percent of global ADN capacity is made through proprietary technologies owned by the firm.
The technology launch continues a busy year for Invista, which is owned by manufacturing conglomerate Koch Industries Inc. of Wichita. At NPE2012 in April, Invista unveiled Torzen Marathon, a new grade of nylon 6/6 resin aimed to fill the gap between standard nylon 6/6 grades and higher-temperature nylons.
Company officials also said at NPE2012 in Orlando that Invista is looking at expansion plans in the Southeast and is considering potential acquisitions in Europe.
Invista received attention when a fatal explosion in late March at an Evonik Industries AG feedstock plant in Marl, Germany, caused fears of a global shortage of nylon 12, a key resin used in automotive heating and cooling systems.
Although Invista doesn't make nylon 12, the company is one of only three global suppliers of cyclodecatriene, a nylon 12 feedstock. Invista officials said the firm has been running its CDT plant in Victoria at high operating rates to help deal with the shortage.