Reinforcing its commitment to butyl products, ExxonMobil Chemical's affiliate ExxonMobil Yugen Kaisha (EMYK) announced today that Japan Butyl Co. Ltd. will increase its butyl rubber production capacity by 18,000 tpa at the Kawasaki Plant. This expansion will increase its capacity to 98,000 tpa when the project is completed in late 2010. This expansion will include ExxonMobil's recent advances in process technology. One such new proprietary technology advancement allows for the butyl polymerization reaction, which normally occurs at -95°C, to operate at -75°C, offering significant energy and capital investment savings.
The new process technology advancements have led to new product for tire innerliners, called Exxcore™ DVA resin, which allows for significant tire weight reduction while improving air retention. The company recently demonstrated success of pilot facilities to produce the next generation of butyl rubber utilizing nanocomposite technology to reduce the amount of material for existing applications, effectively doubling the volume of tire innerliner applications. Market testing is expected to commence in 2010.