Published: May 1998
This supplementary report presents an overview of the technical and economic aspects of modern caprolactam manufacture and identifies specific process improvements developed since PEP Report 41B, Nylon 6 and Caprolactam, was issued in March 1988.
Because the vast majority of today's caprolactam is produced from cyclohexanone, we primarily focus on the cyclohexanone based routes in our review of recent technology improvements in caprolactam manufacturing technology. In particular, we highlight the environmental aspects of caprolactam production, especially for cyclohexane oxidation and hydroxylamine production technologies.
Two process technologies are evaluated in detail:
- DSM's hydroperoxide process—a commercial cyclohexane oxidation process for cyclohexanone manufacture
- EniChem's ammoximation process—a newly commercialized oximation process for cyclohexanone oxime manufacture
Comparison economics are presented for major commercial and developing technologies for the production of cyclohexanone, cyclohexanone oxime, and caprolactam.