Dow and BASF to Form JV to Produce Polyurethane Raw Material

The Dow Chemical Company and BASF Aktiengesellschaft announced today that the new innovative Hydrogen Peroxide to Propylene Oxide (HPPO) technology is ready to commercialize. BASF and Dow are proceeding with plans to construct a world-scale HPPO plant at BASF’s Verbund site in Antwerp, Belgium. Construction is scheduled to start in 2006, and the plant is expected to come on stream in 2008. The plant will serve the growing demand for PO derivatives, in particular in the polyurethane industry.

In July 2003, BASF and Dow combined their research efforts in the field of propylene oxide (PO) manufacturing on the basis of propylene and hydrogen peroxide (HP). The results of this joint HPPO process development, which have exceeded the high expectations, are available for commercial use to both parties.

Initially, the new production facility will have an annual capacity of 300,000 metric tons. An advantage of the new technology is that co-products are avoided and nothing but the end product, PO, and water is generated. Furthermore, production plants using this process have a smaller footprint, need less infrastructure and require a significantly lower investment compared with conventional PO production processes.

“Dow is very pleased with the joint development effort with BASF and the resultant improvements made to HPPO Technology”, said Mike Gambrell, Dow Sr. Vice President for Chemicals and Intermediates. “The final process design is better than the early stage HPPO processes of both companies and shows the advantages of this collaboration.”

“The joint development of the HPPO technology together with Dow has been very successful. Now we are going to start the commercialization jointly. The HPPO plant in Antwerp will be the first in the world based on this new technology”, said Dr. John Feldmann, member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF Aktiengesellschaft with responsibility for BASF’s Oil & Gas and Plastics segments, which includes BASF’s global Polyurethanes division.

Propylene oxide is used in the production of polyurethanes, propylene glycol, chemical intermediates, flame retardants, synthetic lubricants, oil field drilling chemicals and textile surfactants.

For more information on polyurethane, click here.

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