One of the plants of Cyanamid in Rotterdam is the Chemical Specialties Plant. In this plant all kinds of chemicals are made in batches. One of these chemicals is the UV absorber UV-1084. The batch process to make this compound can be divided into 9 process steps. The step with the largest cycle-time defines the maximum production rate. During a period of about three months the bottleneck of the UV-1084 process has been investigated.
The distillation of methanol was found to be the bottleneck with a cycle-time of 40 hours. The next bottleneck was found to be reaction + filtration (33.5 hours), but this could easily be reduced to about 28 hours when needed. Removing the destillation of methanol as bottleneck would consequently improve the production capacity with up to 43 %!
Several options to improve the methanol destillation cycle-time have been investigated and some of these options were recommended for further investigation.