Published January 1983
In this review, SRI presents a preliminary process design and estimates the capital and production costs for a unit to manufacture 30 million lb/yr of 1,4-butanediol and 24 million lb/yr of tetrahydrofuran from butadiene.
In PEP Report 96A (issued in November 1977) on polybutylene terephthalate and 1,4-butanediol, we evaluated a process based on Mitsubishi Chemical patents for making 1,4-butanediol (no tetrahydrofuran coproduct) from butadiene. That process appeared to be competitive with the principal commercial process for 1,4-butanediol (acetylene and formaldehyde).
The 1,4-butanediol and tetrahydrofuran process examined in this review appears to be superior to the 1,4-butanediol process evaluated before, and provides a positive return on investment. One of the advantages of this process is that high-priced tetrahydrofuran is made from an intermediate in the process (1,4-acetoxyhydroxybutane) rather than from high-priced 1,4-butanediol, as is done in the most common method of manufacture.