HPPO, high productivity technology for H2O2: Rising energy costs and environmental pressure
Rising energy costs and environmental pressure combine to make the HPPO process one of the most attractive industrial concepts to have come from Solvay Chemicals in recent years.
The process is also creating new, potentially gigantic, outlets for hydrogen peroxide.
- 35% less energy usage
- 70% less waste water
- 35% less investment
Solvay, BASF and Dow have launched a long-term venture to produce propylene oxide, used to make polyurethane plastics, at the world’s first commercial-scale hydrogen peroxide propylene oxide (HPPO) plant at BASF’s site in Antwerp, Belgium.
The innovative process technology offers a number of benefits over conventional routes to propylene oxide, including better economics, environmental improvements and flexibility for locating new plants.
The HPPO plant is fed with hydrogen peroxide from a first plant at the Antwerp site. The plant has 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, built jointly by BASF and Dow, has started up in early 2008.
In 2011, Solvay and Dow commissioned the largest peroxide plant in the world in Thailand. The plant has a capacity of over 330,000 tons per year of peroxide hydrogen and serves mainly as a captive raw material source for the manufacture of propylene oxide (PO) by Dow and Siam Cement Group (SCG).
Solvay announced that a third plant will be constructed jointly by with Sadara Chemical Company (itself a planned joint venture of Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) and The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) in Jubail industrial City, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This plan will be operational in the second half of 2015.
The new HPPO technology brings environmental improvements to the propylene oxide industry by: reducing wastewater by 70 to 80 percent, compared with existing propylene oxide technology
- reducing energy usage by 35 percent, compared with existing propylene oxide technology
- reducing infrastructure and physical footprint with simpler raw material integration and avoidance of co-products