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A Novel Non-Phosgene Process for Polycarbonate Production from CO2: Green and Sustainable Chemistry in Practice

  • Fukuoka, Shinsuke1
  • Fukawa, Isaburo2
  • Tojo, Masahiro3
  • Oonishi, Kazuhiro3
  • Hachiya, Hiroshi4
  • Aminaka, Muneaki4
  • Hasegawa, Kazumi4
  • Komiya, Kyosuke5
  • 1 Asahi Kasei Corporation, New Business Development, 1-105 Kanda Jinbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-8101, Japan , Tokyo (Japan)
  • 2 Asahi Kasei Corporation, 1-105 Kanda Jinbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-8101, Japan , Tokyo (Japan)
  • 3 Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corporation, Chemistry & Chemical Process Laboratory, Kojima-Shionasu, Kurashiki, Okayama, 711-8510, Japan , Okayama (Japan)
  • 4 Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corporation, Technology Licensing Department, Kojima-Shionasu, Kurashiki, Okayama, 711-8510, Japan , Okayama (Japan)
  • 5 Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corporation, 1-105 Kanda Jinbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-8101, Japan , Tokyo (Japan)
Published Article
Catalysis Surveys from Asia
Springer US
Publication Date
Jun 12, 2010
DOI: 10.1007/s10563-010-9093-5
Springer Nature


This paper focuses on the world’s first non-phosgene process using CO2 as starting material succeeded in development and industrialization by Asahi Kasei Corp. The Asahi Kasei Process enables high-yield production of high-quality PC having excellent properties and high-purity monoethylene glycol (MEG), starting from ethylene oxide (EO), by-produced CO2 and bisphenol-A without waste and waste water. The innovative reactive distillation technologies in the monomer production and the innovative gravity-utilized, non-agitation polymerization reactor in the melt polymerization, led the new process to success. The monomer process consists of 3 production steps, ethylene carbonate (EC) from CO2 and EO, dimethyl carbonate (DMC) and MEG from EC and MeOH, and diphenyl carbonate (DPC) and MeOH from DMC and PhOH. All intermediates are recycled. The new type polymerization reactor perfectly overcomes the difficulty based on the extremely high viscosity in the melt polymerization of DPC with Bis-A. The by-produced PhOH is recycled to the monomer process. The reduction of CO2 emissions (0.173t/PC 1t) is also achieved, because CO2 used as raw material is utilized as the main chain components of the products. Four commercial plants (Taiwan: 150,000 t/y, Korea: 2 plants of 65,000 t/y, Russia: 65,000 t/y) using the Asahi Kasei Process are now successfully operating, and the plant of 260,000 t/y in Saudi Arabia will start in 2010.

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