US-based fibre producer Invista is to deploy its most advanced adiponitrile (ADN) technology, used to produce nylon 6,6 intermediates, at its joint-owned Butachimie facility in France and in the US.

The Butachimie joint venture with chemical and fibres group Solvay in Chalampé, has been operating for over 42 years and is the world's largest ADN facility. The nylon intermediates made there are used to make nylon 6,6 fibres and polymers for a number of end-uses, including workout apparel.

The new, advanced technology will be implemented by retrofitting the existing facilities during a planned turnaround in the second quarter of 2019. It is already deployed at Invista's facility in Orange, Texas, and extends the company's ADN technology in several aspects, including improved product yields, reduced energy consumption, lower greenhouse gas emissions, enhanced process stability and reduced capital intensity, compared to existing technologies.

"The performance of this technology at Orange has exceeded our expectations and we look forward to the benefits that deployment at additional facilities will bring to the marketplace," says Bill Greenfield, president, Invista Intermediates. "Since beginning commercial operation of this technology in 2014, we've demonstrated improved yield, reliability and record production rates at Orange."

The latest-generation ADN technology will also be deployed at its nylon intermediates facility in Victoria, Texas, pending final internal and regulatory approvals. Implementation is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2020.

Invista says it expect the combined increase in production capacity to be similar to that of a new ADN plant.

"These considerable investments highlight Invista's dedication to the nylon 6,6 industry and positions Invista and its customers with an advantaged and sustainable value chain," adds Greenfield.

In China, the company says it has received strong interest from customers and others in the value chain seeking to participate with Invista in building a new ADN plant at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park, where Invista opened a 215,000-ton hexamethylene diamine (HMD) plant and a 150,000-ton polymer plant in 2016. The company says it is assessing this.