Until September 2019, the annual melamine production capacity of China is 1.954 million tons, accounting for 73% of the world’s annual melamine production capacity. It is estimated that, by the end of 2022, four sets of melamine plants will be put into operation in China, which are 50,000 tons /60,000 tons with normal pressure process and two sets of 60,000 tons with high pressure process, with newly added production capacity of 230,000 tons. China has already become the world’s largest producer and exporter of melamine, as well as absolutely main force of the world’s melamine.
The production process of melamine is relatively complicated and there are many different technologies in the world, such as Nissan technology in Japan, Montedison process and ETCE technology in Italy, DSM process in the Netherlands and BASF technology in Germany.
China is the world’s largest melamine producer and the country with the most complete application of melamine in the world. The melamine production in China was started from Tianjin Weijin Chemical Plant in 1958, with annual melamine production of 100 t using dicyandiamide as raw material. In 1980, China introduced the 12kt/a low pressure production device from Dutch DSM Company. In the 1990s, China introduced 12.5kt/a high pressure production device from Italian Eurotecnica Company. In addition, China has developed its own two-step production process of melamine. In the 21st century, Shanghai Haihua, Jiangsu Chemical Design Institute and Tsinghua University (Yejing Technology) jointly developed a low-pressure production process similar to that of BASF.
How to select among these production processes when studying melamine? The melamine processes can be further divided based on the production process and operation pressure.
Production process. It can be divided into one-step and two-step based on production process. Before 2010, there were a lot of melamine factories in China that used two-step production process, such as Shandong Mingshui Dahua, Shandong Haihua, Fujian Sanming, etc. After 2010, with the maturity of Tsinghua process and large-scale application, two-step production process has gradually been withdrawn from the production due to high production cost and unstable quality. Currently, there are only 2-3 sets of equipment in Shandong Sanhe but no longer used for production.
Operation pressure. It can be divided into high pressure process, low pressure process and normal pressure process in melamine production industry.
High pressure process
Low pressure process
Normal pressure process
At present, there are only two sets of normal device using high pressure process and the others are basically low pressure process. With the continuous improvement of low pressure process, the quality has been steadily improved which achieves the same level as high pressure process. In 2019, QINGDAO EASTHONY cooperated with Apple Japan and Apple relevant supply chains. The test results show that, melamine production using Tsinghua process can achieve stable and reliable quality, which completely meets the requirements of high-end applications.
Every melamine production process requires stop inspection after a period of stable operation, and the product quality before and after stop may fluctuate to a certain extent. Therefore, it is recommended that the customer shall consider choosing a reliable supplier in case of product selection, rather than production process.