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General
  • Oxo alcohols are alcohols that are prepared by adding carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen  to an olefin to obtain an aldehyde using the hydroformylation reaction and then hydrogenating the aldehyde to obtain the alcohol.
  • Oxo alcohols are sold as n-Butanol, 2-Ethylhexanol, Isononyl alcohol, Isodecyl alsohol.

Process

  • The Oxo process is a two-stage process for producing alcohols from olefins, first, treating the mixture of olefins with carbon monoxide and hydrogen to form aldehydes, and second, reducing them by the use of commercial hydrogen.
  • The most important synthetic route accounting for over 95% of 2-EH production is based on propylene which after initial hydro formylation is converted into an Oxo crude product.

Technology

  • The LP Oxo SM Process is extensively used to produce normal and iso-butyraldehydes from propylene for subsequent conversion to the
    work-horse plasticizer alcohol, 2-ethylhexanol, or to butanols for solvent uses.
  • The LP Oxo SM Process technology has been developed for converting normal butenes to the new plasticizer alcohol 2-propylheptanol, and it has been applied commercially to produce alcohols from higher olefins, notably the production of C11 to C14 higher alcohols from olefin cuts produced from Fischer-Tropsch synthesis.

Uses

  • Oxo alcohols are used as solvents and are reacted with phthalic anhydride to form phthalates, which find use in commerce as vinyl plasticizers.
  • Iso-Nonanol is predominantly used as alcohol component in plasticizer manufacturing
  • 2-Ethylhexanol is used for the manufacture of the acrylate esters which are used in adhesives and surface-coating materials such as acrylic paints, in printing inks and as impregnating agents.

Report

  • The run-up in energy and feedstock costs that has hampered virtually the entire petrochemicals industry is pressuring manufacturers of oxo alcohols. Producers are scrambling to raise prices to offset cost increases that have crushed margins, but they face uncertain demand in the US, Europe and Asia.
  • A company in South Africa is increasing its competitiveness in the highly contested alcohol production market by bringing new capacity on line and simultaneously restructuring capacity in some inefficient operations.

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