The Function of New catalyst of Glass Alternatives

University of Oregon chemists have identified a catalyst that could dramatically reduce the amount of waste made in the production of methyl methacrylate, a monomer used in the large-scale manufacturing of lightweight, shatter-resistant alternatives to glass such as Plexiglas.

David Tyler, Charles J. and M. Monteith Jacobs Professor of Chemistry, will present his findings Tuesday at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society, Aug. 19-23 in Philadelphia, Penn.

Global production of methyl methacrylate was 4 million metric tons in 2010. Each kilogram produced also yields 2.5 kilograms of ammonium hydrogen sulfate, a corrosive byproduct that is not usable. Disposal of ammonium hydrogen sulfate is extremely energy intensive, consuming 2 percent of the energy used in Texas annually.

With the identification of a working catalyst, Tyler will focus his research on how to accelerate the conversion to methyl methacrylate (its CAS No. is 80-62-6). The industrial standard for a practical catalyst is conversion of acetone cyanohydrin into methyl methacrylate in the span of a minute or two, Tyler said.

Tyler’s team has identified a catalyst that doesn’t produce ammonium hydrogen sulfate. The university is securing a provisional patent for the catalyst. “There were some really fundamental chemical reasons why previous catalysts didn’t work with this process,” Tyler said. “We’ve found a catalyst that overcomes all of those objections.”

Global Supply Of MMA May Less Than The Demand In 2014

According to the prediction of Mitsubishi Synthetic Co. in  Japan, because of the rapid growth of the global MMA (methyl methacrylate) demand and supply growth is not synchronized, it can be expected that in 2014 the situation of production falls short will appear and the supply gap will reach 200,000 tons.

It is reported that a joint venture between Mitsubishi Synthetic Co. and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) in the Middle East that plans to produce MMA 250,000 tons per year will be put into operation in late 2014 or early 2015, by then the tight global supply situation will be relieved. However, as the global economy resumes growth, demand for MMA will further expand, the possible resurgence of the tight supply situation may appear in 2 to 3 years. From 2018 to 2020, global MMA supply growth will continue to lag behind demand growth.

It is understood that the in 2011 global MMA supply and demand were in the basic balance, the demand was about 3.3 million tons, of which the Asian demand was 1.8 million to 1.85 million tons, China accounted for 400,000 tons.

In recent years Asia MMA demand growth was significantly higher than the region’s economic growth, demand and economic growth in Europe and North America were essentially flat. Methyl methacrylate is mainly used in the production of poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), as well as paint, the electronics industry accounted for about 40% of the PMMA aggregate demand. The rapid development of the electronics market will further promote the the PMMA surge in demand for, In addition, the automotive industry, solar industry is also pushing the PMMA growth in demand.

Plexiglass Introduction

In general, glass is cheaper to purchase than plexiglass, is more scratch resistant and more easily recycled. Plexiglass, on the other hand, is stronger, more shatter-resistant and resistant to the elements and erosion than glass. Plexiglass (also commonly spelled “plexiglas”) is a transparent, synthetic polymer used mostly as an alternative to glass. It also has a wide variety of other applications.

Plexiglass is a synthetic polymer (plastic). Its scientific name is polymethyl methacrylate, and is frequently abbreviated to PMMA and classified as a transparent thermoplastic. Since plexiglass is a plastic, it is a petroleum-based product. Glass is a amorphous (non-crystalline) solid, an inorganic compound that has cooled from a liquid to a solid without passing through a crystalline state. Glass is brittle, transparent and composed primarily of silicas.

Methacrylic acid was first synthesized in 1865. In 1877, German chemists discovered how to transform methyl methacrylate into polymethyl methacrylate. The substance was patented in 1933, and three years later mass production began. It immediately became popular and has remained so ever since.

Acrylic glasses like Plexiglass are created using relatively complex chemical processes. Basically speaking, the synthesis process occurs through one of three separate methods: emulsion polymerization, bulk polymerization or solution polymerization. All of these processes can produce high-quality Plexiglas.

Plexiglass is widely used as a durable, shatter-resistant alternative to glass. It is also used in medical applications, such as in prostheses. You will find it in a wide range of consumer products, such as picture frames, musical instruments and fashion accessories.

Standard glass is cheaper than clear acrylic sheets. However, prices will depend not just on size and thickness, but also on added features such as UV-cut and glare-reduction coatings. In general, when comparing sheets of glass and plexiglass offering the same benefits, the glass option will be cheaper. However, given that methyl methacrylate(C5H8O2, CAS No. 80-62-6) is more resistant to weathering and erosion than glass, long-term maintenance and replacement costs can become significantly cheaper with plexiglass.

Clear acrylic sheets are much easier to cut than glass sheets. Plexiglass can be cut a wide variety of shapes to fit the user’s needs. Glass can be recycled cheaply numerous times. Plexiglass (since it involves the use of petrochemicals) is more difficult, and therefore more expensive, to recycle.