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Celanese Ethylene-Based VAM Technology Helps China Facility Reduce Its Carbon Footprint

Celanese has taken strategic steps to help lower its environmental footprint in China, reducing carbon emissions and energy and water use, through its ethylene-based Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) technology.

VAM is used as an intermediate to manufacture industrial polymers and resins for paper coatings, water-based paints, adhesives, films, textiles and other end products.  Today in China, only 21 percent of VAM technology is ethylene based, and demand for VAM is anticipated to increase to around 0.18 million metric tons over the next five years.

Use of ethylene-based VAM technology at Celanese’s plant in Nanjing to replace traditional VAM technology is having positive environmental impacts, reducing carbon emissions and energy and water use. The ethylene-based VAM technology uses 20 percent less steam, 70 percent less cooling water and 11 percent less electricity than the prior technology.  In addition, carbon emission per ton of ethylene-based VAM production is approximately 37 percent lower than the former process. From 2017 to 2019, Celanese’s Nanjing VAM production unit has reduced energy intensity by 7.5 percent and GHG emissions by 7.3 percent.

Ethylene-based VAM technology also produces fewer types and quantities of impurities than the traditional VAM, typically used in downstream applications such as coating and food packaging.

In 2020, Celanese’s ethylene-based VAM technology received designation as a Green Technology in China for its low carbon emissions, low energy consumption, low content of heavy components and high product quality.  The China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation, representing Chinese national chemical manufacturing companies, announced this designation in its Directory for Petrochemical Green Technology, which helps guide Chinese government and financial institutions in making technology and policy decisions.

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American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $486 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is among the largest exporters in the nation, accounting for ten percent of all U.S. goods exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation’s critical infrastructure.

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