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PET - Polyethylene terephthalate

Polyethylene terephthalate (sometimes written poly(ethylene terephthalate), commonly abbreviated PET, PETE, or the obsolete PETP or PET-P, is a thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is used in synthetic fibers; beverage, food and other liquid containers; thermoforming applications; and engineering resins often in combination with glass fiber. The term polyethylene terephthalate is a source of confusion because this substance, PET, does not contain polyethylene. Thus, the alternate form, poly(ethylene terephthalate), is often used in scholarly journals for the sake of accuracy and clarity.

The majority of the world's PET production is for synthetic fibers (in excess of 60%), with bottle production accounting for around 30% of global demand. In the context of textile applications, PET is referred to by its common name, "polyester," whereas the acronym "PET" is generally used in relation to packaging. Polyester makes up about 18% of world polymer production and is the third-most-produced polymer; polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) are first and second, respectively.

PET was patented in 1941 by John Rex Whinfield, James Tennant Dickson and their employer the Calico Printers' Association of Manchester. The PET bottle was patented in 1973 by Nathaniel Wyeth. PET in its natural state is a colorless, semi-crystalline resin. Based on how it is processed, PET can be semi-rigid to rigid, and it is very lightweight. It makes a good gas and fair moisture barrier, as well as a good barrier to alcohol (requires additional "barrier" treatment) and solvents. It is strong and impact-resistant.

Its Density 1.4 g/cm3 (20°C), amorphous: 1.370 g/cm3, crystalline: 1.455 g/cm3, Melting point > 250°C, 260°C. PET consists of polymerized units of the monomer ethylene terephthalate, with repeating C10H8O4 units. PET is commonly recycled, and has the number "1" as its recycling symbol.

Total capacity in India in 2011 was 814 KTA which is expected to touch 2015 KTA in 2016. JBF capacity expansion of 200 KTA is expected in 2017-18. The demand for PET is expected to touch 880 KTA during 2016-17.

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is Thermoplastic polyester widely used for production of beverage bottles. It is also used for flexible packaging film due to its high clarity, low permeability and excellent printability. Biaxially oriented PET film (often known by one of its trade names, "Mylar") can be aluminized by evaporating a thin film of metal onto it to reduce its permeability and to make it reflective and opaque (MPET). These properties are useful in many applications, including flexible food packaging and thermal insulation such as "space blankets". Because of its high mechanical strength, PET film is often used in tape applications, such as the carrier for magnetic tape or backing for pressure sensitive adhesive tapes.

Non-oriented PET sheet can be thermoformed to make packaging trays and blisters. If crystallizable PET is used, the trays can be used for frozen dinners, since they withstand both freezing and oven baking temperatures. When filled with glass particles or fibers, it becomes significantly stiffer and more durable. PET is also used as substrate in thin film and solar cell.

Polyethylene terephthalate is produced from ethylene glycol and dimethyl terephthalate (C6H4(CO2CH3)2) or terephthalic acid. The former is a transesterification reaction, whereas the latter is an esterification reaction.

Dimethyl terephthalate process, this compound and excess ethylene glycol are reacted in the melt at 150–200 °C with a basic catalyst. Methanol (CH3OH) is removed by distillation to drive the reaction forward. Excess ethylene glycol is distilled off at higher temperature with the aid of vacuum. The second transesterification step proceeds at 270–280°C, with continuous distillation of ethylene glycol as well.

Terephthalic acid process in the terephthalic acid process, esterification of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid is conducted directly at moderate pressure (2.7–5.5 bar) and high temperature (220–260°C). Water is eliminated in the reaction, and it is also continuously removed by distillation.

Capacity (kt) Actual Actual Actual Actual Actual Projected Projected Projected
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
RIL 340 340 350 430 950 1000 1000 1000
SAPL 200 350 410 410 410 410 410 410
JBF 144 144 190 190 190 190 390 390
MicroPET       110 215 215 215 215
Others 130              
Total 814 834 950 1140 1765 1815 2015 2015
Source: Industry

* Others: 130 KT idle capacity, MicroPET : 215 KT new capacity

  PET: India Demand Supply
Actual Actual Actual Actual Actual Projected Projected Projected
2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
Capacity 814 834 950 1140 1765 1815 2015 2015
Production 686 767 878 880 1288 1455 1710 1710
Dom Sales 468 532 574 550 744 855 975 1120
Imports 36 67 58 150 82 25 25 25
Exports 200 230 303 334 598 600 735 590
Consumption 504 599 632 700 826 880 1000 1145
    19% 6% 11% 18% 7% 14% 15%
Source: Industry

* JBF Expansion of 200 KTA is expected in 2017-18

PET - 100% end use consumption is Bottles (plastic)

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