New York, USA
Wednesday, December 15, 2021

New Analysis: Technoeconomics (TECH) report– EPDM Rubber

NexantECA EPDM rubber report

EPDM is a relatively new rubber commercially developed in the early 1960s, compared to SBR (styrene-butadiene rubber) or NBR (acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber), which were the first synthetic rubbers that were developed in the late 1930s. Unlike SBR, which was developed as an inexpensive replacement for natural rubber in tires, EPDM is primarily used in non-tire applications because of its higher performance and cost. EPDM has a fully saturated molecular backbone that provides excellent ozone resistance, weatherability and heat resistance properties, very good dielectric performance, and low temperature flexibility. 

EPDM can be produced either as an ethylene/propylene copolymer (EPM) or as a terpolymer of ethylene, propylene, and another moiety containing side-chain unsaturation such as ethylidene-5-norbornene-2 (ENB). 

The advantage of side-chain unsaturation is that the resulting polymer can be sulfur cured, as is performed with other rubbers. 

Commercial Technologies 

EPDM is produced in a solution reactor based on Ziegler-Natta or Metallocene-catalyzed chemistry, or in a Ziegler-Natta catalyzed slurry process. Metallocene or other single site catalysts have altered the industry, as such catalysts permit new and different molecular architectures at lower cost. The lower cost is a result of increased catalyst activity and less residual process waste. 

Process Economics 

For this report, NexantECA evaluated the three main processes available for EPDM production – Ziegler-Natta solution, Metallocene solution, and Ziegler-Natta slurry processes. The evaluation provides: 

  • Process description with simplified flow sheets 
  • Recent developments related to process technology 
  • Investment and cost of production (COP) estimates for a grassroots facility 
  • Estimates are made for plants located in the USGC, Western Europe, and the China Coast 

Commercial Overview 

Key end-use markets, applications and market trends are developed for EPDM for the regions – North America, Western Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of World. Demand and supply/demand balances are provided for 2011 to 2026.  

The COVID-induced recession, which followed a period of numerous capacity additions, resulted in poor operating rates and a shut-down of a number of plants, as discussed in the report. A listing of producers is provided. 

Subscribe to TECH 

The TECH program (formerly known as PERP) is globally recognized as the industry standard source of process evaluations of existing, new and emerging of interest to the energy and chemical industries. 

TECH’s comprehensive studies include detailed technology analyses, process economics, as well as commercial overviews and industry trends. Reports typically cover: 

  • Trends in chemical technology 
  • Strategic/business overviews 
  • Process Technology: 
  • Chemistry 
  • Process flow diagrams and descriptions of established/conventional, new and emerging processes 
  • Process economics – comparative costs of production estimates for different technologies across various geographic regions 
  • Overview of product applications and markets for new as well as established products 
  • Regional supply and demand balances for product, including capacity tables of plants in each region 
  • Regulatory and environmental issues where relevant 

Subscription Options 

A subscription to TECH comprises:  

  • PDF reports including detailed technology analyses, process economics, as well as commercial overviews and industry trends 
  • Cost of production tables in spreadsheet format 
  • Consultation time with the project team 

An annual subscription to TECH includes twenty reports published in a given program year. Reports can also be purchased on an individual basis, including reports from previous program years. 


Find out more on our NexantECA website


About Us - NexantECA, the Energy and Chemicals Advisory company is the leading advisor to the energy, refining, and chemical industries. Our clientele ranges from major oil and chemical companies, governments, investors, and financial institutions to regulators, development agencies, and law firms. Using a combination of business and technical expertise, with deep and broad understanding of markets, technologies and economics, NexantECA provides solutions that our clients have relied upon for over 50 years.


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