Mahshahr Center




Petrochemical Research and Technology Company, Mahshahr centre

In line with the strategy determined by the senior management of National Petrochemical Company, Petrochemical Research and Technology Company (NPC-RT) was established in 2003 with the responsibility of developing prioritized know-how and technologies required by petrochemical industries.

Three centers are affiliated with NPC-RT Company:

-       Tehran centre which is responsible for implementation of fundamental and groundbreaking research.

-       Arak which is entrusted with implementation of technical/applied research.

-       Special Zone centre which is entrusted with implementation of technical/applied research.


Special zone centre:

Special Zone centre was founded in 2002 as a subsidiary of NPC Research and Development Affairs in order to establish a research centre for conducting scientific research in various fields relevant to petrochemical industries and achieving the production know-how of various petrochemical products in special zone of Mahshahr. In 2003 subsequent to transformation of R&D Affairs into NPC-RT Company, Special Zone centre became one of its three discrete centers.



Special Zone centre is located in an area of around 10 hectares in Special Petrochemical Economic zone in the vicinity of Mahshahr in khoozestan province.



Guidelines and overall goals:

-       Convergence, prioritization and acceleration of research activities and technology development.

-       Development in cooperation with research and academic centers and technology owners inside and outside the country in order to accomplish the strategic goals of petrochemical industry.

-       Development of research and technological infrastrures including human resources, laboratories and pilot plants.

-       Establishment and development of new management systems including knowledge management, information technology, project and human resources management in the company.

-       Lifting the spirit of research, entrepreneurship, innovation, time management and effectiveness.

-       Human resources development through education, continuous assessment and personnel management valuing their services and pay special attention to their esteem and human dignity.

-       Development in cooperation with Petrochemical production complexes concerning the optimization and modification of production processes.

-       Active presence in global and domestic markets with the aim of selling technology and offering research and scientific services.

-       Creating know-how in order to produce economical chemicals and catalysts used in Petrochemical industry.


Fields of activities:

-       Activity in the field of pilot plants.

-       Laboratory activities.




Whit the aim of optimization , modification and completion of technology , acquisition of process know – how , trouble shooting of production processes, evaluation of chemicals and additives, offering technical and scientific services to complexes and training newcomers, the contract of design and construction of a polyethylene terephthalate (PET ) pilot plant was signed with Noyvallesina company. This pilot plant consists of three sections: spinning, polymerization, SSP.


 Polymerization section (Poly)

Polymerization unit is a batch unit which has been designed to produce PET with a nominal capacity of 120 kg / batch using trephthalic acid and ethylene Glycol as feed and based on various additives, different film, textile and bottle grades are produced.


Solid State Polymerization (SSP)

SSP pilot plant is a continuous unit which has been designed to post – polymerize PET chips. The nominal capacity is 30 kg / h and converts the chips with intrinsic viscosity (I.V) of 0.63 into the chips with the IV of 0.8


Spinning unit:

In this unit, polyester thread is produced from textile grade of PET with the capacity of 20 kg / h


PET Set – up:

PET set – up is a small unit for laboratory – scale production in order to study and achieve reaction mechanism and kinetics. This set – up has been designed and constructed with the aim of conducting research on film , textile and bottle grades and new generation of polyester as adding co – nomers and other additives in order to produce PET with new applications.



MTP pilot has been constructed to create the capacity of changing operational conditions with a view to determining optimized operational condition. Subsequent to the operation of this pilot plant, research on process modification, utilizing recycle streams in order to modify process selectivity and efficiency as well as new catalyst testing have been facilitated. The main feed of this process is methanol and the capacity is 105 kg / h which varies in different WHSVs. In the end of the process propylene as a main product and LPG as by – products are produced.



 The construction of MTP Demo with a daily capacity of one tonne propylene started in 2005 in special economic zone in line with an agreement with Lurgi Company concerning the joint cooperation in technical upgrading of MTP process and selling license for industrial units during a PC contact with Rampco Company. The main purpose of this demo pilot is to present it as a prototype for selling industrial MTP units; in addition provisions have been made for research activities and projects.

Following the construction of this unit, NPC-RT Company pioneers making profit by selling license (with different global and domestic portion) as a commercial partner of Lurgi Company.


HD / PP Pilot Plant

The existence of various polyolefin units (mainly polyethylene and polypropylene)in the country and problems related to catalysts such as being imported and monopolized as well as sanctions and embargoes have exposed the importance of research on catalysts. For this purpose HD/PP pilot plant was designed, installed and operated. This pilot plant has been designed for producing polyethylene and polypropylene aiming at performance evaluation and determination of optimized conditions of Ziegler-Natta catalysts which are prepared by researchers in NPC-RT Company or other research centers. The nominal capacity of this pilot plant is 16kgpe/hr which changes into 10-8 kgPE/hr during commissioning and start-up. In addition, this pilot plant is capable of producing various grades of PE according to variations in feed composition.


Methanol/De Methyl Ether (DME):

Methanol /De Methyl Ether pilot plant with a daily capacity of 7 tonnes of methanol and one tonne of DME is being constructed in regard to joint cooperation with Haldor/Topso Company. The main purpose of this pilot plant is technical upgrading of methanol and DME production process, and development of the existing know – how in order to acquire new know –how.

In this regard in 2003 Sazeh Consultants Company was contracted to provide NPC-RT Company with detail engineering and complete the PDP of this unit. Following the detail engineering of this unit and preparation of tender documents of PC section which was completed on 20,April,2005, The PC contract of aforementioned project was signed with Rampco company on 20,April,2005.


Vinyl Acetate Monomer Pilot Plant:

In recent years, following the gradual increase in Acetic Acid production in petrochemical complexes and market saturation, production of a versatile middle product, Vinyle Acetate Monomer (VAM) has been considered by domestic producers to increase the value added of acetic acid. Although the 30 thousand –tonne VAM unit in Arak petrochemical complex has already placed Iran among the VAM producing countries , the low capacity of this unit along with proprietary license and know-how of this valuable substance which is mainly under the control of western countries(specifically the US), have hampered Iran’s access to high capacity production. In this regard NPC-RT Company has prioritized offering in-house license and basic design of industrial VAM units to domestic applicants.



For this purpose subsequent to laboratory-scale research activities conducted in recent years ,along with design ,procurement and construction of a VAM pilot plant ,VAM production process based on the in-house technology has officially started through commissioning  of the aforementioned pilot plant .VAM production process in this process is based on the reaction of ethylene ,acetic acid and Oxygen in pilot gas phase and in the presence of catalyst in a fixed bed pipe reactor. At the moment NPC-RT has targeted at the production of the VAM with %99.9 and %0.1 of light compounds and following the modification activities, custom-produced VAM with 99.95% purity seems achievable in close future.



Taking   advantage of state -of- the - art equipment and instruments as well as experienced and well-trained personnel, a wide range of analyses required by research projects are done in laboratories of special zone center. In addition, specialist services in three sections:

Instrumental analysis laboratory, polymer and non- polymer analysis laboratory, and non-polymer research laboratory are available for private sector applicants.



Instrumental analysis laboratory

Polymer and non-polymer analysis laboratory

-       Viscometer made by LAUDA Company to determine intrinsic viscosity of polyester such as PET.

-       DSC made by Mett Toledo for determining melting point, crystalinity of polymer…

-       Various titrators


Non-polymer research laboratory

This laboratory has been provided in order to install polymer set-up and conduct relevant research activities.

At present chlorine alkaline set-up is available for operation in this laboratory.


Chlorine – Alkaline set-up

Membrane chloro – Alkaline process is one of the most sustainable and environmentally- friendly process for chlorine gas and caustic soda.

Therefore evaluation of this process in order to have a better understanding of cell performance and optimize the process seems necessary.

The purpose of this set-up is study and investigation of process parameters including flow density , cell temperature , PH , brine concentration , effect of electrolyte current velocity over time on the voltage between two cell ends , conversion rate of caustic soda and the content of produced chlorine.