Published September 1965
This report is concerned primarily with the production of acrylic acid and the four acrylic esters--methyl, ethyl, n-butyl, and 2-ethylhexyl. Although a wide variety of esters is possible, evaluation was restricted to these four because they are currently of the greatest commercial significance, The four esters may be segregated into two types: lower (methyl, ethyl, and n-butyl) and higher (2-ethylhexyl).
Analysis of the various processes for lower acrylic ester production was limited to their application to ethyl acrylate. Detailed comparisons of integrated multiproduct ester plants were made only for those processes showing the lowest calculated costs. Only those processes that have present commercial significance or show future promise because of special technology or raw material were evaluated. Therefore, the costs or technology for processes such as the old ethylene cyanohydrin process were not analyzed in detail. The processes considered are catalytic acetylene, stoichoimetric-catalytic acetylene, β-propiolactone, acrylonitrile, propylene oxidation, and acrylic acid esterification. Some of the technology for the various processes is applicable to production of both acrylic acid and acrylic esters.
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