All go for PO

BASF and Dow have launched a long-term venture to produce propylene oxide at the world’s first commercial-scale hydrogen peroxide propylene oxide plant at BASF’s site in Antwerp.


BASF and The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) have launched a long-term venture to produce propylene oxide (PO) at the world’s first commercial-scale hydrogen peroxide propylene oxide (HPPO) plant at BASF’s site in Antwerp, Belgium.



The plant uses a new technology developed jointly by BASF and Dow. PO is a core ingredient for the $21bn a year polyurethane industry. Solva will be a key supplier to the new facility.



The process technology is said to offer a number of benefits over conventional routes to PO, including better economics, environmental improvements and flexibility for locating new plants.



The HPPO plant will be fed with hydrogen peroxide (HP) from a second new plant at the Antwerp site. The HP plant will have a capacity of 230,000 metric tons per year and will be constructed by Solvay, BASF and Dow. The 300,000 metric tons per year HPPO plant, which is being built jointly by BASF and Dow, is scheduled to start up in early 2008.



In 2003, Dow and BASF began their joint process research program to develop and commercialise the HPPO technology. This partnership allowed the two companies to combine their innovation strengths and thereby commercialise the technology more rapidly than would have been possible by either partner alone.


Dow and BASF are considering the development of additional HPPO projects in other regions, including Asia. BASF also plans to utilise the HPPO technology with a project at its Geismar, Louisiana, site in the United States.