August 1st, 2007 16:13 EST
ExxonMobil Chemical Begins Commercial Production of Butyl Rubber
HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ExxonMobil Chemical announced today that it has begun commercial production of butyl rubber at its Notre Dame de Gravenchon (NDG) plant in France using a new proprietary breakthrough process technology that it pioneered.
The new technology enables ExxonMobil Chemical to significantly increase its butyl rubber production capacity from its existing plants. Moreover, the technology also improves energy efficiencies as it enables the butyl rubber polymerization process to be run at more efficient temperatures.
The new process technology is the product of a multi-million dollar, multi-year program that utilizes ExxonMobil`s strengths in research and development as well as in manufacturing. The breakthrough provides ExxonMobil unique advantages in manufacturing and further enhances its position as an innovator in butyl rubber manufacturing technology.
"This is possibly the biggest breakthrough in butyl process technology since the invention of halobutyl," said Art Sullivan, Global Butyl Polymers Vice President at ExxonMobil Chemical. "It is the culmination of our relentless focus and investment in research and development, and it demonstrates the continued technical leadership of ExxonMobil Chemical and our continued commitment to the global tire industry."
ExxonMobil Chemical made the decision to commercialize the technology after it passed stringent tests and trials over a period of approximately two years at the NDG plant. Stable, efficient plant operations, significantly higher production capability with existing reactors and refrigeration compressors and equivalent product properties and performance were amongst the key success criteria evaluated prior to commercialization of the technology.
The company plans to roll out the new technology at its other butyl plants around the world. Details of the plan including the timing and target capacity increment have yet to be finalized. Based on its commercialization success at the NDG plant, the new technology will enable ExxonMobil Chemical to increase production at all of its manufacturing sites, equivalent to a world scale plant.
ExxonMobil Chemical is the world`s largest supplier of butyl polymers to the global tire industry. Other recent technological contributions to the tire industry include advanced tire inner liners using its proprietary ExxproTM polymers and dynamically vulcanized alloy (DVA) technology. This technology facilitates production of lighter, more durable tires while providing enhanced vehicle fuel efficiency.
About ExxonMobil Chemical
ExxonMobil Chemical is a global leader in technology, product quality and customer service with petrochemical manufacturing and/or marketing operations around the world. To find out more about ExxonMobil Chemical, visit www.exxonmobilchemical.com.
Note to the editors: The term "ExxonMobil Chemical" refers collectively to some or all of the companies affiliated with Exxon Mobil Corporation, and/or itself, which have chemical manufacturing and/or marketing operations around the world.