Innovation + Green: Opening The 'Golden Key' Of The International Market Door - Lanzhou Petrochemical's Development Of Synthetic Rubber Industry

- Sep 24, 2019-

In recent years, Lanzhou Petrochemical has successively completed the industrial production of 11 styrene-butadiene rubber and 18 nitrile rubber series products, and realized the large-scale market supply of synthetic rubber products with independent intellectual property rights, and gradually formed styrene-butadiene rubber customization. Chemical, large-scale, high-yield, special-name production pattern of nitrile rubber.


Localization of additives


The auxiliaries required for the production of 15,000 tons/year nitrile rubber plant of Lanzhou Petrochemical were all imported from abroad before, and the production cost remained high. It also caused the production of important national materials such as nitrile rubber to be controlled.


Lanzhou Petrochemical concentrates on manpower to carry out technical research on the localization of additives. As the person in charge of the nitrile rubber small test device, Zheng Caiqin continued to carry out small test substitution tests for domestic auxiliaries and imported auxiliaries. In order to adjust the process conditions and formulas in the first time, she worked overtime and often stayed at the test site for more than ten hours. A successful replacement of an additive often took several or even dozens of tests to complete.


Under her unremitting efforts, the 17 kinds of auxiliaries used in the installation have been localized, which greatly reduced the production cost, and the annual efficiency increased by more than 10 million yuan.


In order to improve the stability of product quality, the nitrile workshop of Lanzhou Petrochemical Rubber Factory carried out the quality research of “enhanced stability of nitrile rubber N41E polymerization Mooney”. The team members will investigate and screen the factors affecting product quality and formulate measures for reduction. The medium-controlled pass rate of the device has been increased from 85% to 98%, and the superior product rate of the product has been increased from 80% to 100%.


Since the first styrene-butadiene and nitrile rubber produced in the Republic on May 20, 1960, Lanzhou Petrochemical has developed a series of leading products of styrene-butadiene rubber and nitrile rubber, and has provided high-quality synthetic rubber for the country and the industry. More than 4 million tons. At present, the domestic market share of nitrile rubber products of Lanzhou Petrochemical Rubber Factory exceeds 40%.


Entering the international market


With the revision of the EU REACH regulations, domestic nitrile rubber has not met the requirements due to individual indicators, which has restricted the export of downstream enterprises' products, which is very unfavorable for the domestic rubber industry in distress.


In order to understand the difference between the company's nitrile rubber products and international high-end products, she and the researchers of the research institutes compare the chain structure, chemical composition and processing properties of Lanzhou Petrochemical's nitrile products and the same brand of international high-end products. Research, understand the same-sexuality, propose improvement and optimization measures, and provide technical support and efforts for product quality improvement.


The nitrile rubber products of Lanzhou Petrochemical Rubber Factory not only meet the needs of users for the production of high-end products, but also the downstream products have been exported to Europe, the United States, Japan and other countries and regions, breaking the restrictions of international trade barriers on the domestic rubber and plastic products industry. Lanzhou Petrochemical Rubber Factory has successively developed the styrene-butadiene rubber products required by internationally renowned tire companies such as SBR-1723 and SBR-1778E in conjunction with Lanzhou Chemical Research Center, and successfully became the supplier of high-end users such as Bridgestone, Goodyear, Michelin and Pirelli. The SBR-1586 special styrene-butadiene rubber product developed by the company has filled the domestic gap and realized the leap-forward development of the transformation of synthetic rubber products. The styrene-butadiene and nitrile rubber products have made major breakthroughs in the domestic and international high-end market.


Green is not a dream


With the rapid development of domestic equipment manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, building materials, sports equipment, etc., especially the rapid development of rubber and plastic materials that can be used for human and animal contact, the environmental protection performance of synthetic rubber is put forward higher requirements. Nitrile rubber products cannot enter the European and American markets due to the content of harmful substances such as nonylphenol exceeding the requirements of EU REACH.


Zheng Caiqin, who was the production director of the 15,000-ton nitrile rubber plant, looked in his eyes and was in a hurry. If the environmental protection problem of domestic nitrile rubber is not solved early, the environmentally-friendly nitrile rubber production technology and products will continue to be monopolized by international giants such as LANXESS and Ryan, seriously restricting the healthy development of related industries.


With the cooperation of Lanzhou Chemical Research Center, Zheng Caiqin and her research and development team began to investigate dozens of production auxiliaries used in nitrile rubber to determine the source of harmful substances such as nonylphenol, and determined the impact of antioxidants. After the factors, they began to look for alternatives to antioxidants in the domestic market. Repeated screening and investigation again and again, and conduct small trials over and over again.


According to Zheng Caiqin, the R&D team was very hard during that time. She could not remember how long it had been working overtime at the time. She could not remember the specific number of trials and adjusted the feeding ratio of antioxidants hundreds of times. After the key parameters such as feeding sequence, configuration temperature and stirring speed, the types of alternative antioxidants were finally determined, and the technical problems such as discoloration and delamination which occurred during the replacement of antioxidants were solved, and the original nonylphenols were successfully replaced. A series of environmentally friendly nitrile rubber products have been developed for anti-aging agents with harmful substances. It has taken the lead in realizing the environmental protection of nitrile rubber in China, and has seized the "commanding height" of the development of the domestic nitrile rubber industry in the future international division of labor and stratification, and has obtained the "passport" for China's nitrile rubber products to enter the international market.


They have developed four environmentally friendly nitrile rubber products, which have been tested by authoritative departments such as SGS and Rhein. The content of the restrictions are in compliance with EU REACH regulations, and the products are exported to Europe and the United States. It has produced 100,000 tons of environmentally friendly nitrile rubber with a net profit of over 100 million yuan. Among them, the research and development of environmentally friendly nitrile rubber production technology has made all kinds of nitrile rubber grades of nonylphenol (NP) and nonylphenol polyoxyethylene ether (NPEO) reach the EU index, and the products have entered the field of high-end products. The high-performance environmentally friendly styrene-butadiene rubber SBR1723 meets the needs of high-end styrene-butadiene rubber users such as Goodyear, Bridgestone, Jiatong and Hankook, and has passed the on-site audit of suppliers.