Mitsui Chemicals Inc. announced last week that it has finished building a plant that will make synthetic hydrocarbon fluids that it markets under the Lucant brand name – primarily as viscosity modifiers in lubricants.
The facility is located in Ichihara, outside of Tokyo, and has capacity to produce 20,000 metric tons per year. It is the second plant to make the fluids, and Mitsui said it was constructed to meet increasing demand and to provide greater supply security.
The fluids are co-oligomers of ethylene and alpha olefins, and Mitsui claims they are the first commercially available synthetic hydrocarbon fluids to not contain polar molecules. The company says their viscosity is exceptionally stable as temperature changes, making them well-suited to serve as viscosity index improvers, and that they also have excellent shear stability and thermochemical stability.
Mitsui began commercial production of the fluids in 2008 when it opened the first plant in Waki, Yamaguchi prefecture, in western Japan. In 2014 it entered an exclusive agreement for Lubrizol Corp. to offer the chemicals to the lubricants industry.
Mitsui said both companies will work to expand sales within the lubes industry and that Tokyo-based Mitsui will work to develop business in the elastomers and engineered plastics markets.