Perstorp Makes Isononanoic Acids

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Perstorp Makes Isononanoic Acids
An service person repairing an industrial compressor at a refrigeration station. © Dmitry Kalinovsky

Specialty chemical supplier Perstorp AB will begin this month to produce isononanoic acids at its factory in Stenungsund, Sweden. The Malmo, Sweden-based company is one of several suppliers to add capacity for the chemicals in recent years in response to growing demand for products such as a new generation of refrigeration lubricants.

Perstorp did not disclose the capacity nor the price tag for the project, which was announced in a news release issued Monday. It did say that production will begin this month and that the fluids will be sold globally.

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Isononanoic acids are carboxylic acids used as building blocks in the manufacture of a variety of materials, including bleaching agents, resins, coatings and inks. They are also used to make polyol ester synthetic lubricants and corrosion inhibitors used in coolants.

Refrigeration lubricants is one of the main applications spurring growth in demand for isononanoic acids. Polyol esters formulations have become popular replacements for chlorofluorocarbons – gases that enter the atmosphere and destroy the ozone layer that protects humans from harmful ultra-violet radiation. The United Nations’ Montreal Protocol calls for the phased elimination of CFCs.

Polyol ester refrigeration lubes do not deplete ozone.

“Isononanoic acid has proven to pave the way for next-generation lubricants compatible with non-ozone depleting and low- to no-global-warming-potential refridgerant gases,” Perstorp Vice President for Engineered Fluids Volkan Green said. “Together with other essential polyols and carboxylic acids, Perstorp offers a complete portfolio to support the cooling industry continuously moving forward to sustainability.”

BASF, OQ Chemicals and KH Neochem are among the other companies to expand manufacturing capacity for isononanoic acids in recent years.

Perstorp’s facility in Stenungsund refines rapeseed oil into methyl ester biofuel as well as aldehydes, organic acids and alcohols. It is the largest biofuel refinery in Scanadanavia.

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