19 August 2014

Chinese breakthrough on bio based PTT fibres

Addition of fumaric acid increasing the production intensity of PDO

The China Strategic Emerging Industries and Bio Based Fibre Materials Forum that was recently held in Tianjin has revealed that China has developed the key equipment and complete technology of PTT (polytrimethylene terephthalate) fibre and modified PTT fibre and obtained independent intellectual property rights.

The technology development has made a breakthrough in the bio based PTT fibre production technology chain and bio based PTT fibre is now expected to realise scale production in China.

PTT fibre

PTT fibre is considered to be an important future substitute product for polyester fibre with wide development space. It is an important raw material for PDO (1, 3- propylene glycol) that is not to be replaced. Therefore, the question of how to improve the production capacity of PDO and realize PTT polyester chips through PDO synthesis has become an obstacle to the development of the PTT fibre industry in China.

After the completion of the project, China will have the complete PTT industry chain technology of PDO fermentation, PTT spinning technology, and PTT fabric dyeing technology.

Prior to this, in cooperation with the Tsinghua University, ChengHong Holding Group (ChengHong Group) has used crude starch or glycerine – the by-product of bio diesel – for the fermentation production of PDO and BDO (1,4- butanediol), respectively by two-step and one step methods.

The development of micro aerobic flow plus fermentation process has improved the Klebsiella biomass and total glycol yield. Through the addition of appropriate amount of fumaric acid, the production intensity of PDO has been increased. They have also completed the 1000 cubic meters fermentation tank scale PDO industrial test that has filled the gaps in the domestic PDO biological method production history.

PTT synthesis technology

ChengHong Group has recently launched another scientific research project on PTT synthesis technology. They have developed the PTT and modified PTT key equipment and complete sets of technology with independent intellectual property rights. This technology has been applied in the first biological PDO synthesis project in China, and has built one 50,000 tons / year of bio based PDO production device and one more than 30,000 tons per year of bio based PTT production device.

After the completion of the project, China will have the complete PTT industry chain technology of PDO fermentation, PTT spinning technology, and PTT fabric dyeing technology. The project scale production will enhance the biological manufacturing level of PTT industry in China.

Competition

According to the ChengHong Group, DuPont is currently the largest producer of PDO products. Its PDO products are mainly used in the production of PTT fibre material. DuPont has firmly seized the PTT polyester chip production technology that is on the top of the PTT fibre industry chain.

DuPont only sells the PTT chips to the Chinese enterprises without sharing the production technology. With the mastery of the core technology, DuPont has become the biggest player in the PTT fibre market.

The development of PTT technology by ChengHong Group has broken this monopoly in the industry. According to a recent report, the quality of ChengHong Group PTT polyester chips products has reached the international advanced level.

Properties

PTT fibre is said to have the natural and comfortable hand feel, good tension and elasticity, and it can be dyed at low temperature.

PTT fibre also has high washing fastness, good antistatic performance, and it can be used in blended yarns with natural fibres such as wool.

It combines the advantageous performance of the nylon elasticity and softness, as well as the acrylic fibre fluffy and polyester anti pollution. It not only can be widely used in clothing and other textiles, but also has great potential for market development in the medical nonwoven field.

 

About ChengHong Group

ChengHong Group is a large state-level enterprise group that was founded in 1992. It is located in Suzhou and consists of group enterprises in petrochemical, textiles, energy, real estate, and hotel – five industries with more than 30,000 employees.

It has been rated as national technology innovation model enterprise, national advanced unit of circular economy, national torch plan key high-tech enterprise, and the national textile industry advanced collective. ChengHong brand was also awarded the China well-known trademark title.

Source: Innovation in Textiles, 2014-08-13.
Author: Oliver Haiqing Hua

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