Dow, Evonik Start-Up Pilot Plant to Convert Hydrogen Peroxide to Propylene Glycol

Nov. 1, 2023
New process integrates all key reaction stages in a single reactor, eliminating the need for additional investments in capacity and lowering capital requirements.

Dow and Evonik announce the successful start-up and operation of a pioneering hydrogen peroxide to propylene glycol (HPPG) pilot plant at Evonik’s site in Hanau, Germany. Collaboratively developed by Dow, a major producer of propylene glycol, and hydrogen peroxide manufacturer Evonik, the plant uses the new HYPROSYN method to enable the direct synthesis of propylene glycol (PG) from hydrogen peroxide and propylene.

The pilot plant will demonstrate the benefits of the technology. In contrast to the traditional process, where propylene is used to make propylene oxide (PO), which is converted to PG through hydrolysis, the HYPROSYN process uses a novel catalytic system to generate PG directly from propylene and hydrogen peroxide. The integration of all key reaction stages in a single reactor eliminates the need for additional investments in PO capacity and lowers capital requirements. The process also enables a reduced environmental footprint e.g., water consumption is reduced to less than 5% compared to conventional PG methods. In addition, existing PG plants can be retrofitted to benefit from this new technology, said Dow in a press release.

Propylene glycol serves as an essential ingredient such as a high-performing additive, intermediate, or initiator in a wide range of applications — including industrial, food and animal feed, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Over the next few years, the Dow and Evonik teams will continuously evaluate the plant’s operations and capabilities to scale up manufacturing, in support of growing market demand.

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