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BP CHEMICALS OBTAINS RIGHTS TO MALEIC ANHYDRIDE TECHNOLOGY

      BP CHEMICALS OBTAINS RIGHTS TO MALEIC ANHYDRIDE TECHNOLOGY
    CLEVELAND, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- BP Chemicals, Nitriles and Nitrogen Division (NND), has announced that it has obtained sole rights to the BP Chemicals/UCB maleic anhydride (MAH) fluid bed process technology.  UCB, S.A. of Belgium, has agreed to sell its stake in the process to BP Chemicals.  Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
    The MAH fluid bed process, now identified as the BP MAH process, combines BP Chemicals' catalyst and fluid-bed reactor technology with the agueous recovery and purification technology acquired from UCB, S.A. to make a complete production process.
    "By securing all rights to the MAH process, BP Chemicals is in a position to pursue its own marketing strategy, which includes a more aggressive program to license our technology," said Randy Schumaker, BP Chemicals manager of MAH business development.
    According to Schumaker, the BP process has numerous advantages over competitive technologies.
    "The BP MAH process features high yields, low operating costs and exceptional product quality," he said.  "Also, the process does not use hazardous solvents, poses no environmental disposal hazards and has demonstrated exceptional on-stream reliability due to its operational ease and flexibility."
    The BP MAH process has been commercially proven through more than three years of successful operation at a 10,000 metric ton/year plan in Osaka, Japan, under a 50/50 joint venture with BP Chemicals and Mitsui Toatsu Chemicals.  The BP MAH process will also be used by Compania Espanola de Petroleos SA (CEPSA) for a 30,000 metric ton/year plant in Algecrias, Spain.
    "The BP MAH process is rooted in 30 years of successful fluid bed acrylonitrile technology which BP Chemicals licenses worldwide at 66 plants," said Jeff Gault, NND licensing manager.  "This experience, along with BP Chemicals' track record in MAH production, makes the BP fluid bed technology the clear choice for new capacity additions."
    MAH is a versatile chemical intermediate used in a growing number of applications including unsaturated polyester resins in home construction materials; maleic and fumaric acid; alkyd resins for residential and industrial paints; and specialty co-polymers.  Three potentially large new markets for MAH are the production of 1, 4-butanediol (BDO), tetrahydrofuran (THF) and gamma-butyrolactone (GBL).
    Based in Cleveland, BP Chemicals, Nitriles and Nitrogen Division, produces acrylonitrile and associated products for the fibers, plastics and industrial markets.  The company has major production plants in Lima, Ohio and Port Lavaca, Texas, and licenses its proprietary acrylonitrile technology to 30 companies in 20 countries.  The Lima plant also produces nitrogen chemicals (ammonia, urea, nitric acid and carbon dioxide) for agricultural and industrial uses.
    -0-                  11/13/91
    /CONTACT: Tony Kozlowski of BP Chemicals, 216-586-5577/ CO:  BP Chemicals ST:  Ohio IN:  CHM SU: LC -- CL011 -- 3786 11/13/91 09:08 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 13, 1991
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