Published December 2013
A severe shortage of polyamide 12 developed in 2012 when a fatal explosion occurred at Evonik's Marl, Germany cyclododecatriene (CDT) plant. CDT is a feedstock for laurolactam, the monomer to produce polyamide 12. This event triggered a search for alternative polyamides to supply the automotive industry for several applications including fuel tanks and brake lines. Polyamide 12 also finds applications in solar panels and in cable coverings for offshore oil and gas production.
Polyamide producers proposed the use of other specialty polyamides as alternatives to polyamide 12 including polyamides 6/10, 6/12, 10/10, 10/12, and 11. Higher polyamides like polyamides 11 and 12 offer better resistance to humidity, enhanced mechanical and thermal properties and more resistance to most common acids and solvents than do PA 6 or PA 6/6. PA 11 and PA 12 can be extruded, molded, made into film, or used in fibers.
PA 11 is a renewable polymer made from 11-aminoundecanoic acid obtained from castor oil. Sebacic acid, a monomer that is polymerized with diamines to produce a couple higher polyamides, is also made from castor oil.
In this PEP report, we first review proven or potential technologies for producing polyamides 11 and 12, the major commercial specialty polyamides. We then review processes for making the major acidic monomers for specialty polyamides: 11-aminoundodecanoic acid (PA 11), laurolactam (PA-12), dodecanedioic acid (PA 6/12, PA 10/12, and PA12/12), and sebacic acid (PA 6/10 and PA 10/10). Working back the supply chain to 1,3-butadiene raw material we also review technology for cyclododecatriene (CDT) and cyclododecane (CDAN), intermediates for laurolactam (CDAN), dodecanedioic acid and sebacic acids.
We then develop the process economics for producing PA 11 and PA 12 and the monomers: laurolactam from CDAN, two dodecanedioic acid processes reacting CDT and sebacic acid made from castor oil. Process economics are also developed for the CDT and CDAN intermediates.
Other PEP Related Reports:
Polyamides Other Than Nylons 6 and 66 94 1/2
Polyamides Other Than Nylons 6 and 66 94 2/2