Could the global shortage of nylon 12 that lasted through much of 2012, following the fire and explosion of the Marl, Germany cyclododecatriene (CDT) facility of Evonik Industries in March of that year, possibly be the world’s last of that scale? Invista is aiming to become the first new fully-integrated producer of nylon 12--used primarily for fuel and brake-line connectors and other automotive components such as tubing and hoses--in over 30 years.
The company’s family of C12 high-performance intermediates played a critical part in assisting the market during the 2012 industry shortage. Moreover, Invista then turned its focus on researching novel approaches to the production of nylon 12 monomer and other long-chain molecules, such as a new monomer technology for which it holds several pending patents. Results to date have shown Invista’s new nylon 12 technology to be simpler and more efficient than existing technologies, according to global business director for C12 intermediates Ed Sullivan.
Invista is now starting up pilot production of the new nylon 12 monomer, plans to seek market input almost immediately, and expects to begin product qualifications as early as 2015. This would be followed by a scale-up of the new process and preparation for full-scale manufacturing.