DSM Research and Shell Chemi-cals, both based in The Netherlands, are jointly working on a
DSM-sponsored project aimed at the development of a novel caprolactam route based on butadiene.
Caprolactam is the basic starting material for nylon 6.Current technology for the manufacture of
caprolactam is based on either cyclohexane or phenol. Novel investments based on these routes are
uneconomical because large quantities of am-monium sulphate are produced.DSM is committed to
caprolactam, said Dick J. Venderbos, business group director, DSM Fiber Inter-mediates. This
process, called DSM ALTAM, is based on butadiene and carbon monoxide and would further increase the
competitive position of caprolactam and nylon 6 versus other materials.