BASF Aktiengesellschaft and the Dow Chemical Company have launched a long-term venture to product propylene oxide (PO) at a commercial-scale hydrogen peroxide propylene oxide (HPPO) plant at BASF's site in Antwerp, Belgium. According to reports, the plant utilizes a new technology developed jointly by the two companies. PO is a core ingredient for the US$21 billion a year polyurethane industry. Propylene glycols are used in a variety of applications including cosmetics, household detergents, paints and automotive brake fluids.
Dow and BASF began their joint process research program to develop and commercialize HPPO technology in 2003. In comparison to traditional PO process technologies, HPPO reportedly offers economic benefits, environmental benefits and opportunities for future growth. According to the two companies, the HPPO technology allows for a 70 to 80% reduction in wastewater, a 35% reduction in energy, a simpler raw material integration of just hydrogen peroxide and propylene and a 25% reduction in building capital.
"HPPO is an exciting technology that supports Dow's focus on sustainability through greater energy efficiency, reduced physical footprint and improved environmental performance, while at the same time, providing attractive economics," said Andrew Liveris, Dow's chairman and CEO.
Solvay S.A. will be a supplier to the new facility.The plant is scheduled to start up in early 2008. In addition to the HPPO facility in Antwerp, Dow and BASF are also considering the development of additional HPPO projects in other regions, including Asia.