BASF and Dow Advance Propylene Oxide Technology

In August 2002, BASF and Dow Chemical Company announced that they would combine their research efforts and technologies pertaining to the manufacture of propylene oxide using hydrogen peroxide as a key ingredient. The technology is commonly known as HPPO.

Since then each party has evaluated the others technology and a joint venture agreement was signed in July 2003.

They have also made significant progress over the last year with regards to defining the HPPO process for the world-scale HPPO facility. The process promises to be able to deliver propylene oxide without co-products, using a process that requires lower capital costs compared to current technologies.

HPPO production plants will require less infrastructure, have a smaller footprint and will be extremely cost efficient, even at low capacity utilisation.

Pilot plant research is expected to be completed by the end of 2003. When this is completed, engineering of the first world-scale HPPO plant will begin. The companies envisage production could commence in 2007 and potential sites at existing BASF or Dow plants are being investigated.

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

For more information polyurethanes, click here.

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