Nylon polymer producer Invista has invested more than $40m in research and development spanning four years on two continents to develop what it describes as "a revolutionary technology" to produce adiponitrile (ADN), a key ingredient for nylon 6,6.

While full details have yet to be released, the company claims benefits of the new technology include improved product yields, reduced energy consumption, lower CO2 emissions, enhanced process stability and reduced capital intensity compared to existing technologies.

Another environmental bonus is that it virtually eliminates benzene from the production process, resulting in significant benzene reductions.

"We believe this new generation of ADN technology represents a significant improvement versus the proprietary technology we operate today," said Bill Greenfield, executive vice president of Invista's nylon intermediates business.

The new technology has been operating for more than two years at a pilot-scale facility at its research and development centre in Orange, Texas. Invista is now looking at installing it at its existing facilities in Orange and Victoria, Texas, as well as a plant being built in China.

"We are now ready to deploy the new technology at a commercial scale," added Greenfield.