Quality benchmark organised for producers of MEG

Producers of (petro-)chemicals all over the world work hard to produce products of high quality. They formulate quality objectives and criteria are set. Labs perform analyses to check the obtained quality. This results in increased awareness and knowledge about ones own product quality. For a producer, it would be of value to know more about the products of the other producers world wide and to be able to compare its own product quality to that of the other producers.

I.I.S. organised a quality benchmark for the mono ethylene glycol fibre grade (MEG-f) producers. The objective of it was to compare, in an anonymous way, the quality of this product produced throughout the world. I.I.S. was asked to organise this study, because - as our client described it - "we recognise that it is appropriate to have it organised by an independent, experienced organisation with an international reputation". I.I.S. co-ordinated the benchmark, had the samples analysed and reported the results to the participants.

In this benchmark study MEG-f samples from 45 plants of 32 producers from 19 different countries have been evaluated. Each participant did sent two samples to I.I.S. Directly after receipt, I.I.S. coded the samples to guarantee that the relation between originator of the sample and the sample itself could only be made by a limited number of qualified personnel. In this manner the confidentiality of the producers was ensured.

The samples were all analysed by two labs. All analyses were each performed by one technician using one apparatus and one calibration and when possible in one series of measurement in order to keep the laboratory analysis spread as small as possible. In case a suspect result was found, the replicate sample of the same producer was analyses. The following analytical tests were done: acidity, aldehydes (total, acetaldehyde, formaldehyde and glycolaldehyde), chloride, colour, colour after 4 hrs. boiling, acid colour stability, di ethylene glycol, iron, lead, lithium, potassium, sodium, UV transmittance (at 350, 275 and 220 nm) and water.

Each participating MEG producer received a report and only its own sample code. Therefore, each participant could only identify his own sample in the report. This format allowed the participants to compare their MEG with the other ones, meanwhile ensuring company confidentiality.