Published May 1966
This report is concerned primarily with the production of methyl methacrylate (MMA). Much of the technology in this report is similar in many respects to that for the production of acrylic esters covered in a previous report (Acrylic Acid and Acrylic Esters, Process Economics Program (PEP) Report No. 6 September 1965). Although a wide variety of esters is possible, evaluation was restricted to methyl methacrylate, because it is currently of the greatest commercial significance. Also, methacrylic acid (MAA) as a separate product was evaluated only in those processes which actually isolate methacrylic acid as an intermediate. The scope of this report did not permit evaluation of processes for producing higher methacrylates, because production of these methacrylates usually involves batch operations on a small scale, either esterification of methacrylic acid by higher alcohol or transesterification of methyl methacrylate.
Only those processes that have present commercial significance or show future promise because of special technology or raw material were evaluated. The processes evaluated were the acetone cyanohydrin process, the dinitrogen tetroxide oxidation of isobutylene, the vapor-phase air oxidation of isobutylene, and the catalytic methyl acetylene process. Also considered were the isobutylene ammoxidation process, the saturated ester process, the formaldehyde-propionate condensation process, and the dehydrochloronation process. Some of the technology for the various processes is applicable to production of both methacrylic acid and methyl methacrylate.
Other PEP Related Reports: