Research Report of Chinese Oxalic Acid Industry, 2009
Oxalic acid is an important basic organic raw material, mainly used to produce thepharmaceuticals, such as antibiotics, borneol, pharmaceutical intermediate synthesis, theprecipitant extracts in the rare earth metals, dye deoxidizer, tanning agents and cleansing agents of the metal equipments etc. with the application expansion of the oxalate in the pharmaceutical andpesticide synthesis, the demands for the oxalate were steadily increased over the previous years.At present, the demands volumes of the oxalate in the world are about 400 thousand tons. In 2008,the yields of the oxalic acid in China exceeded 200 thousand tons and the export volumes werearound 50 thousand tons.The traditional industrialization production methods of the oxalic acid mainly concluded sodiumformate process, oxidation process, oxo process, glycol oxidation process, propylene oxidationprocess and carbon monoxide coupling process etc. At present, the manufacturing process of theoxalic acid is through the coal chemical route and the costs are low. The major mechanism lies inthe later period, which hydrolyzes parts of the intermediate products dibutyl oxalate and generatesoxalic acid and methanol. The methanol can be further used to produce nitrous acid methyl ester,which is used to produce dimethyl oxalate so as to achieve the goals of cyclic utilization. Duringthe coupling process, when producing 1-ton glycol, 2-ton oxalic acid has been produced at thesame time.Oxalic acid is mainly used to produce the tetracycline, aureomycin and terramycin etc. in thepharmaceutical industry. The development of these pharmaceutical products largely depends onthe export tendency. With the development of Chinese pharmaceutical industry, it is predicted thatthe demands for the oxalic acid in Chinese pharmaceutical industry will be increased gradually.Another important use of the oxalic acid is the smelting of the rare earth. According to thestatistics, the smelting of the rare earth per ton needs 1.4 tons oxalic acid. In 2008, the demandsfor the oxalic acid in Chinese rare earth industry were beyond 100 thousand tons.At present, the largest oxalic acid manufacturer in China is Yuanping Chemicals Co., Ltd with theannual yield capacity of 70 thousand tons. In 2008, its actual yields exceeded 40 thousand tons.The other domestic manufacturers are all in small scales and low concentration. The traditionalindustrialization production method of the oxalic acid has to use sulfuric acid and lead, leading toserious menace to the environment.Apart from Tongliao Jinmei Chemicals Co., Ltd capable of producing the oxalic acid by synthesisof the nitrate carbonyl, other manufacturers generally adopt the carbohydrate nitric acid oxidationprocess, glycol mixed acid oxidation process and propylene nitric acid oxidation process etc.Besides, the sodium formate additive process, comparatively polluted the environment, has beenreplaced in the world.