TAIF team receives government’s award for creation of eco-friendly polycarbonate production at KOS

TAIF team receives government’s award for creation of eco-friendly polycarbonate production at KOS
Photo: Kazanorgsintez PJSC

Headlamps, optical lenses, CDs, protective helmets, blood filters — these things and many others are made of polycarbonate. In Russia, Kazanorgsintez manufactures this type of polymer. A big range of eco-friendly polycarbonates and feedstock production opened in 2008, they were modernised in 2020. The Russian government appreciated the project that is unique for Russia. Government Chairman Mikhail Mishustin has recently signed a decree on giving a group of engineers the government’s award in science and equipment in 2021.

The relevance of the project

Kazanorgsintez PJSC is the largest Russian producer of ethylene polymers and copolymers, the leading chemical enterprise of Russia that has strategic meaning for the development of Tatarstan’s economy. The factory’s own phenol and acetone production became a prerequisite for starting to elaborate downstream processing of these products making high value-added polymer products — polycarbonates (PC).

Nowadays the PC consumption market is considered rapidly growing. In the next years, their total consumption will top 6 million tonnes a year. In Russia, PC has been widely used in construction — as soundproofing, protective polymers — and agriculture to build greenhouses that do not almost retain ultraviolet radiation.

Their consumption in Russia in 2020 totalled some 100,000 tonnes a year.

Kazanorgsintez PJSC is the largest Russian producer of ethylene polymers and copolymers, the leading chemical enterprise of Russia. Photo: Kazanorgsintez PJSC

The main task of the research done by Kazanorgsintez’s staff was to create a wide range of eco-friendly polycarbonates in Russia, set up the mass production of composites and composite-based commodities.

Senior Adviser to TAIF JSC Director General Albert Shigabutdinov was among the designers of the project on eco-friendly polycarbonate production. Photo: Roman Khasayev

A team of professionals implemented the project that is unique for Russia including:

  • Senior Adviser to TAIF JSC Director General Albert Shigabutdinov;
  • Vice Director General of TAIF JSC Vladimir Presnyakov;
  • Candidate for Chemical Sciences, Director General of Organic Synthesis, head of works Farid Minigulov;
  • Chief Engineer of the plant Aydar Valitov;
  • Vice Director General Rinat Zaripov;
  • Vice Director General Fanisa Kalimullina;
  • Director of the plant Andrey Presnyakov;
  • Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, Vice Chief Engineer Damir Safin;
  • Director General of SafPlast Andrey Yevseyev;
  • Candidate for Technical Sciences, leading researcher of the Petrov Institute of Plastics Irina Zolkina.
Vice Director General of TAIF JSC Vladimir Presnyakov was awarded for the implementation of the project that is unique for Russia

Production based on safe phosgene-free technology

Specialists of the group designed and implemented a process flow chart that included the refining of feedstock — benzene and propylene — into phenol and acetone and their further processing into polycarbonates.

A complex of works also included the development of a series of scientific and technological solutions to seriously modernise the plants operating at Kazanorgsintez and create the second industrial production of composites and commodities based on basic PC brands.

Polycarbonate Plant at Kazanorgsintez PJSC with a capacity of 65,000 tonnes a year was put into operation in 2008 together with Bisphenol A Plant. The production uses safer phosgene-free technology.

The production uses safer phosgene-free technology. Photo: Kazanorgsintez PJSC

The plant uses its own bisphenol as feedstock and carbon dioxide more than 20,000 tonnes of which the company itself emits as exhaust gases, thus performing two key tasks at once: providing itself with the necessary feedstock and significantly reducing the environmental impact.

Production capacity rose from 65,000 to 100,000 tonnes

The research didn’t end here. In 2020, large-scale modernisation ended at Polycarbonate Plant of Kazanorgsintez PJSC. The production capacity rose from 65,000 to 100,000 tonnes.

The modernisation was carried out in two stages: in August-September 2019 and October-November 2020.

It became possible to achieve the stable production of over 88,000 tonnes of polycarbonates a year with no loss in quality after the first stage. All modernisation works were done during preventive scheduled repairs, without additional production shutdowns.

This year, we are to reach 100,000 tonnes. The costs and the project will pay back in some 3,5 months, Farid Minigulov said. Photo: Rinat Nazmetdinov

“The installed licensed capacity of polycarbonate production was 65,000 tonnes a year. We expanded it to 77,000 tonnes. And then there was a possibility of modernising this capacity to 100,000 tonnes a year. We have been doing this since 2018. And this year, we are to reach 100,000 tonnes. The costs and the project will pay back in some 3,5 months. The product is profitable enough, I would say, very profitable. Our costs totalled about $50 million,” Director General of Kazanorgsintez Farid Minigulov said in an interview with Realnoe Vremya.

Socio-economic effect for the Russian economy

The creation of the industrial polycarbonate production at Kazanorgsintez PJSC became an impulse for the development of research to create technology to process PC into end products and design composites based on PC. The Institute of Plastics came to the rescue. It did research on the development of weather-, UV-, heat- and fire-resistant composites. The production of many of them is set up at SafPlast in Kazan.

The creation of the industrial polycarbonate production at Kazanorgsintez PJSC became an impulse for the development of research to create technology to process PC into end products and design composites based on PC. Photo: Kazanorgsintez PJSC

Also, the implementation of projects of Kazanorgsintez PJSC allowed significantly improving the environmental situation of current isopropyl benzene, cumene hydroperoxide and phenol plants and also considerably raising their economic efficiency.

What is more, the creation of the complex provided a notable socio-economic effect for the Russian economy.

So in the last 10 years of the production of polycarbonates and by-products, 696,000 tonnes of PC has been shipped to consumers. The total sales revenue of the above-mentioned amount of products has been over 100 billion rubles, reads the project’s presentation.

PC refining at SafPlast in the last 10 years has been 146,800 tonnes. The total sales revenue is more than 31,8 billion rubles. The sales revenue has totalled over 31,8 billion rubles.

Due to the launch of the new production at Kazanorgsintez, there have been created more than 900 new jobs, more than 190 have been at SafPlast. Taxes paid to all budget levels are above 6,9 billion rubles.

Liliya Yegorova
Tatarstan