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Shell on the verge of commercialising a technology for the production of diphenyl carbonate

November 25/2011

(Plastemart) -- Shell is on the verge of commercialising a technology for the production of diphenyl carbonate (DPC) as a feedstock for the production of polycarbonate, as per Over recent years, Shell has been in talks with major manufacturers of the engineering polymer, for whom DPC offers a potential replacement to phosgene - a highly toxic feedstock precursor.

Production of polycarbonate is, today, predominantly based on reacting phosgene with bisphenol A (BPA) to produce the polymer (interfacial or solution polycarbonate). Due to its toxicity, though, phosgene requires stringent exposure management and controls. The phosgene-based process, said Shell, is also complex and energy intensive, involving the use of carbon monoxide, caustic soda and a chlorinated solvent, which has its own health and safety issues. During the reaction process the chlorine is converted to sodium chloride, which then has to be removed from the finished polymer in an additional washing stage in order to achieve the materials optical clarity. Disposal of the waste salt presents another issue. These issues have led polycarbonate manufacturers to develop phosgene-free routes to DPC.

Perspectives of development of the polymers markets, pricing issues and other important aspects will be discussed at The Polymers Summit-2011, which will be held in Moscow on November 30, 2011 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. The Summit is organized by MRC with the support of ICIS. The main idea of the Summit is to find a "the golden mean" between producers and converters. When producers receive exactly such margin of production, which helps them to invest in production expansion in order to substitute polymers imports, and the converters receive such price of feedstock that helps them to compete imported finished products. The Summit site gives an access to the live video of the Summit, speakers" presentations, as well as opportunities to ask questions or make appointments to any Summit partcipant.

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