Industry News

Dow and Evonik Partner to Develop New Propylene Glycol Production Method

Published on 2019-11-01. Author : SpecialChem

Evonik PartnershipDow and Evonik have entered into an exclusive technology partnership to bring a unique method for directly synthesizing propylene glycol (PG) from propylene and hydrogen peroxide to market maturity.

Method for Direct Synthesis of PG

Evonik created the HYPROSYN™ method where the key element is a novel catalytic system. The system allows direct synthesis of PG from propylene and hydrogen peroxide in a process offering high yield and comparatively low energy consumption.

Advantages of HYPROSYN™ Technology

In the traditional process propylene oxide (PO) is converted to PG using water. The HYPROSYN™ technology offers several advantages over that process such as:
  • It is expected to consume significantly less energy while providing a higher yield.
  • The HYPROSYN™ process combines all reaction steps in a single reactor, thereby eliminating the need for investment in additional PO capacity. Existing PG plants can be retrofitted with little effort.
  • Only hydrogen peroxide and propylene are processed as feedstock, thereby increasing flexibility and lowering total investment cost.

Propylene Glycol and the New Technology

Some 1.9 million metric tons of propylene glycol were used worldwide in 2018. The molecule is used to produce polyester resins and as a de-icing agent. It is also an important food additive and serves as a humectant and co-surfactant in many products in the home and personal care market.

In recent years, the molecule has become established as an important oxidizing agent for chemical synthesis – not least as a result of the HPPO process to produce propylene oxide.

A pilot plant is to be constructed at the Evonik site in Hanau by the end of 2020, with large-scale technical implementation to follow a few years later.

We believe that the new HYPROSYN™ direct synthesis technology will enable a more competitive route to produce PG with an improved environmental profile, further providing us greater flexibility in serving our customers," says Andrew Jones, global business director for propylene oxide, propylene glycol, chlor-Alkali and vinyl at Dow.

In addition to potential license revenue, this partnership also demonstrates how we create new areas of application for hydrogen peroxide and positions us as a preferred provider," says Michael Träxler, the head of Evonik’s active oxygens business line.

We are pleased to work together with Evonik to bring this sustainable and innovative new technology to market. We believe it is an important development in support of growing demand from our PG customers worldwide,” said Jones.

Source: Evonik
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