Monday, 14 March 2011

Dow studies bio-based propylene routes

Here's an interesting article from an ICIS colleague, Anna Jagger, on Dow Chemical's quest to source feestocks for its downstream slate from bio-sources. In this case, it's looking for ways of making propylene, to support its already proven bio-route to ethylene.

As well as developing the necessary process technologies, the company is examining which bio-based products it would be able to sell at a premium. "Each of the regions is looking from a markets point of view," said Theresa Kotanchek (left), Dow vice president for sustainable technologies and innovation sourcing. "We're examining an array of raw materials."

Dow sees opportunities in sectors including personal care, cleaning products and the replacement of phthalates as plasticizers, Kotanchek said. "The opportunities cut across multiple end-use markets," she added.

It is early days. Dow's research and development (R&D) teams are investigating which bio-derived products the company should be focusing on. The research is still exploratory, explained John Biggs, R&D development director for Dow's hydrocarbon and energy group in Latin America.

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