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Introduction: Project Conception and Literature

Butadiene is a versatile raw material used in the production of a wide variety
of synthetic rubbers and polymer resins as well as a few chemical
intermediates. The largest uses for butadiene are the production of styrene
butadiene rubber (SBR) and polybutadiene rubber (BR), which are used
mainly in tire products.[ Anonymous, (February 2009),Butadiene Uses and
Market Data ]
Butadiene is one of the components used in the manufacture of acrylonitrilebutadiene-styrene (ABS), styrene-butadiene (SB) copolymer latex, styrenebutadiene block copolymers and nitrile rubbers. I, 3-Butadiene ranks 36th in
the most produced chemicals in the United States. Three billion pounds per
year are produced in the United States and 12 billion globally. World
butadiene consumption in the synthetic rubber and latex applications is
forecast to grow at an average rate of about 2%/year. [Anonymous,
(February 2009), Butadiene Uses and Market Data]
The region seeing the strongest performance has been Asia due to increased
production of finished goods in the electronics, automobile and tire sectors.
The major source of butadiene is as a byproduct in the steam cracking of
naphtha and gas oil to make ethylene and propylene. The butadiene is
extracted from the C4 cracker stream using extractive distillation. Butadiene
is a colorless, non-corrosive liquefied gas with a mild aromatic or gasolinelike odor. Butadiene is both explosive and flammable because of its low flash
point. [Anonymous, (February 2009), Butadiene CAS No: 106-99-0].

In 1863, a French chemist isolated a previously unknown hydrocarbon from
the pyrolysis of amyl alcohol. This hydrocarbon was identified as butadiene in
1886, after Henry Edward Armstrong isolated it from among the pyrolysis
products of petroleum. In 1910, the Russian chemist Sergei Lebedev
polymerized butadiene, and obtained a material with rubber-like properties.
This polymer was, however, too soft to replace natural rubber in many roles,
especially automobile tires.[ Anonymous, (February 2009),History Butadiene]
The butadiene industry originated in the years leading up to World War II and
many of the aggressive nations realized that in the event of war, they could
be cut off from rubber plantations controlled by the British Empire, and

sought to remove their dependence on natural rubber. In 1929, Eduard

Tschunker and Walter Bock, working for IG Farben in Germany, made a
copolymer of styrene and butadiene that could be used in automobile tires.
Worldwide production quickly ensued, with butadiene being produced from
grain alcohol in the Soviet Union and the United States and from coal-derived
acetylene in Germany.[ Armstrong, H.E. Miller, A.K. (1886).]

I. 3-Butadiene is a simple conjugated diene. It is an important industrial
chemical used as a monomer in the production of synthetic rubber. When the
word butadiene is used then most of the time it refers to I, 3-butadiene. [Sun,
H. P. Wristers, J.P. (1992).]
The name butadiene can also refer to the isomer, I, 2-butadiene that is a
cumulated diene. However, this allene is difficult to prepare and has no
industrial significance.
In the United States, Western Europe, and Japan, butadiene is produced as a
byproduct of the steam cracking process used to produce ethylene and other
olefins. When mixed with steam and briefly heated to very high
temperatures (often over 900 C), aliphatic hydrocarbons give up hydrogen
to produce a complex mixture of unsaturated hydrocarbons, including
butadiene. The quantity of butadiene produced depends on the hydrocarbons
used as feed. Light feeds, such as ethane, give primarily ethylene when
cracked, but heavier favor the formation of heavier olefins, butadiene and
aromatic hydrocarbons.
Butadiene is typically isolated from the other four-carbon hydrocarbons
produced in steam cracking by extraction into a polar aprotic solvent such as
acetonitrile or dimethylformamide. From which it is then stripped by
Butadiene can also be produced by the catalytic dehydrogenation or normal
butane. The first such commercial plant, producing 65.000 tons per year of
butadiene, began operations in 1957 in Houston. Texas.
In other pans of the world, including Eastern Europe, China, and India
butadiene is also produced from ethanol, while not competitive with steam
cracking for producing large volumes of butadiene; lower capital costs make
production from ethanol a viable option for smaller-capacity plants. Two
processes are in use.

In the single-step process developed by Sergei Lebedev, ethanol is converted

to butadiene, hydrogen and water at 400-450 of over any of a variety of
metal oxide catalysts.
This process was the basis for the Soviet Union's synthetic rubber industry
during and after World War II, and it remains in limited use in Russia and
other ram of Eastern Europe. In the other, two-step process, developed by
the Russian chemist Ivan Ostmmislensky, ethanol is oxidized to
acetaldehyde, which reacts with additional ethanol over a tantalumpromoted porous silica catalyst at 325-350 C to yield butadiene: [Beychok,
M.R. and Brack, W.J, June 1957]
This process was used in the United States to produce government rubber
during World War II, and remains in use today in China and India.

Importance of Butadiene Production

The 1, 3-butadiene is the simplest member of the series of conjugated
dienes, which contain the structure C=CC=C, the C being carbon. The wide
variety of chemical reactions peculiar to this system makes butadiene
important in chemical synthesis. Under the influence of catalysts, butadiene
molecules combine with each other or with other reactive molecules, as
acrylonitrile or styrene, to form elastic, rubberlike materials. In uncatalyzed
reactions with reactive unsaturated compounds, such as maleic anhydride,
butadiene undergoes the Diels-Alder reaction, forming cyclohexene
derivatives. Butadiene is attacked by the numerous substances that react
with ordinary olefins, but the reactions often involve both double bonds (e.g.,
addition of chlorine yields both 3, 4-dichloro-l-butene and 1,4-dichloro-2butene). At atmospheric conditions, 1,3-butadiene exists as a colorless gas,
but it is liquefied either by cooling to -4.4 C (24.1 F) or by compressing to
2.8 atmospheres at 25C. [Kirshenbaum, I. (1978)]

Application of Products
Nearly all (96%) of the butadiene produced globally is as a co-product of the
steam cracking of naphtha and gas oil to make ethylene and propylene. After
ethylene and propylene are extracted from the cracker, a C4 stream is
separated from the process which contains predominately hydrocarbons
containing four carbon atoms, e.g. butadiene and butenes. The largest single
use for butadiene is in the production of styrenebutadiene rubber (SBR)
which, in turn, is principally used in the manufacture of automobile tyres.
SBR is also used in adhesives, sealants, coatings and in rubber articles like



Polybutadiene is also used in tyres and can be used as an intermediate in the

production of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS). ABS is widely used in
items such as telephones, computer casings and other appliances.
[Anonymous, (June 21, 2007), Product Safety Assessment, Butadiene]
Other polymers made from butadiene include styrene-butadiene latex, used
for example in carpet backings and adhesives; nitrile rubber, used in hoses,
fuel lines, gasket seals, gloves and footwear; and styrene-butadiene block
copolymers which are used in many end-uses ranging from asphalt modifiers
(road and roofing construction applications), to adhesives, footwear and toys.
[Anonymous, (June 21, 2007),Product Safety Assessment, Butadiene]]
Chemical intermediates made from butadiene include adiponitrile and
chloroprene which are used, respectively, in the manufacture of nylon and

Market and Competitive Analysis

The Global production and consumption of butadiene in 2008 were
approximately 10.6 million metric tons and 11.1 million metric tons,
respectively. Global capacity utilization in 2008 was 88%. Global butadiene
consumption is estimated to have increased by almost 2% in 2008, and is
expected to average growth of 3.8% per year from 2008 to 2013, slowing to
2.3% per year from 2013 to 2018. Global utilization rates are expected to be
in the 90s. [Anonymous, (January 2010), Butadiene]
Styrene butadiene rubber (solid & latex) accounted for more than 30% of
global butadiene consumption in 2008, followed by polybutadiene rubber, for
around 25%. Other applications for butadiene include manufacture of
styrenic copolymers, ABS resins, SB latex, nitrile rubber, and
adiponitrile/HMDA. [Anonymous, (January 2010), Butadiene]
Figure 1 shows the 2015 global end-use pattern for butadiene. Its annual
global demand is almost 11 million tonnes. [The Continuing Quest for
Butadiene by Jeffrey S. Plotkin June 20, 2016]

Demand for butadiene in the production of ABS resins will see the highest
average annual rate growth for all derivatives in the increase in total tons of
butadiene consumed. Demand of butadiene in this application will increase
by more than 500,000 tons during the period. Global demand for butadiene
will increase at an average annual rate of 3.9% during the period from 20012006 percent and will outpace capacity additions. This rate is higher than the
compounded annual rate of 2.7% from 1996-2001 due to the global decline
in demand that occurred in 2001 following the global economic slowdown.
[Jorg Wutke, (1996),The petrochemical Industry in China]
Its expected that, in 2008 through 2012 period will experience a butadiene
demand growth rate of just under 3.5 percent per year, slightly higher than
the 3.2 percent annual rate experienced over the past five years. Global
demand for butadiene consumed into ABS resin production is estimated to
grow at a high annual rate of around five percent, due to heavy use of
thermoplastics in the manufacture of computer equipment and other
appliances, mainly in China. Butadiene based nylon production, through
adiponitrile, will also grow at about five percent per year. However,
worldwide demand for butadiene in its largest end use sector, the production
of commodity-based synthetic rubber and latex, is anticipated to average
around 3% per year.[ Anonymous, (January,14,2008), CMAI Completes 2008
World Butadiene Analysis]
In 2012, the global butadiene supply registered a 0.5% YoY decrease and
reached 10.45 million tonnes. The overall market witnessed slowdown of the
growth rates owing to unfavorable conditions in the market along with a
decline in the tire industry. In 2012, APAC ranked the leading regional
butadiene producer, accounting for around half of the global production. In
the same year, China, the US, South Korea, Japan and Germany were the top
five butadiene manufacturing countries; their combined share of the world
supply volume was over 64%.

In spite of the fact, that the world butadiene supply volume recorded slight
decline in 2012, it is anticipated to follow a stable upward trend in the years
ahead. The global butadiene production is projected to exceed 12.7 million
tonnes in 2017. The on-going recovery in the automotive sector will
encourage novel butadiene capacity additions worldwide; however, the
majority of them are likely to take place in the APAC region (especially
China). [Butadiene (BD): 2014 World Market Outlook and Forecast up to
Because of the global nature of butadiene production and its diverse
applications, it is impacted by various dynamics including changes in the
production of ethylene, fluctuations in energy markets, and general
economic cycles.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of butadiene:

As of 2015, Asia (Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia) is the largest producing
region in the world, accounting for nearly 52% of total production.
In regions where downstream markets are still developing, such as the
Middle East and Asia, demand growth will be robust. Continued economic
and demand growth in China will secure it as the worlds largest producer

and consumer of butadiene, while in the more mature markets of North

America, Western Europe, and Japan, growth will be much slower or even
decline over the forecast period. With the rapid development in China, Asia
has emerged as the worlds most active butadiene market, with new capacity
being built close to naphtha-fed steam crackers and downstream derivatives
production expanding rapidly.
Analysts indicate that automobile sales in emerging markets are anticipated
to double or possibly triple over the next 10 to 15 years, driven by an
expanding middle and upper class. Given current economic conditions,
however, companies will continue to exercise caution in planning and
executing new capacity buildup, particularly with instability in both naphtha
and butadiene pricing.
Global butadiene demand will grow at a rate of about 3% per year to 2020.
[Chemical Economics Handbook,Butadiene, Published February 2016]
Global BD market volume was 10,500 kilo tons in 2013 and is expected to
reach 14,179.9 kilo tons by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 4.4% from 2014 to
Asia Pacific emerged as the largest regional market for BD and accounted for
53.6% of total market volume in 2013. Growth of automotive industry
particularly in emerging markets of China and India is expected to remain a
key driving factor for the regional market. Asia Pacific is expected to grow at
a CAGR of 5.5% from 2014 to 2020.
Growth of major end-use industries such as automotive and construction in
Latin America and Middle East is expected to push BD demand for these
regions to grow at an estimated CAGR of 8% from 2014 to 2020.
Naphtha remained the primary petrochemical feedstock for the production of
BD. However, emergence of coal based ammonia and methanol facilities in
Asia is expected to provide alternative sources for the production of 1, 3
The global market is moderately concentrated with the top four companies
including Dow Chemical Company, Shell, Lyondell Basell and Shanxi Sanwei
accounting for over 55% of the global market in 2013. Other companies in
the market include XioJiang Markor, Sinopec and TPC Group, Inc. [Global 1,3
Butadiene (BD) Market By Application (SBR, Butadiene Rubber, SB Latex,
ABS, HMDA, NBR) Expected To Reach USD 33.01 Billion By 2020: Grand View
Research, Inc September 2015]

Operational plant Capacities

Most of the capacity will be added in Asia, particularly China, which will
account for nearly 75% of new capacity, added before 2012. Operating rates
in Asia are expected to be strong at 85%-90%, while operating rates in

Europe will be highest, at about 90%, analysts say. Operating rates in North
America are expected to hover in the 70% range, they say. Table 2.3 shows
the butadiene producer and production rate in Asia. Notice that in Malaysia,
there is only 100,000 Mt /year production totally.