Beginning in 1952, Eastman operated a cobalt-based process for the production of butyraldehydes and developed product lines which utilized both the linear and branched isomers of butyraldehyde. In the late 1970s, Eastman began to examine rhodium-based technology for the manufacture of butyraldehydes.
In the mid-1980s, a commitment made by Eastman led to the development of new oxo catalyst technologies with an emphasis on meeting the ever-changing business needs. The result of this commitment to oxo technology research was the development and commercialization of multiple rhodium catalyst systems.
One of the world’s largest single-site oxo facilities, the Longview TX site produces more than 25 different organic chemicals and specialty polymers. At the forefront of production is the oxo stream consisting of propionaldehyde, normal butyraldehyde, isobutyraldehyde, and the derivatives of these aldehydes. The derivatives include but are not limited to alcohols, esters, acids, and plasticizers. In 1999, Eastman began producing oxo chemicals at the Jurong Island facility in Singapore and, in 2004, at the Qilu Eastman Specialty Chemicals, Ltd., facility in Zibo, China.