442709 Propylene Glycol Plant Design

Tuesday, April 12, 2016: 10:15 AM
339A (Hilton Americas - Houston)
Wayne Andrade1, Yuntao Gu1, Paul Gallego1, Adrienne Harkin1 and Yasser Aziz2, (1)Chemical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX, (2)Chemical engineering, Univeristy of houston, houston, TX

After ethylene, propylene (propene) is the most important raw material used in the production of organic chemicals. It is usually known as “the crown prince of petrochemicals”. As an olefin, propylene is a reactive compound that can react with many common substances making it a very attractive feedstock. Its major use is in the production of polypropylene, a polymer widely used in the world. However, propylene is also used in many other applications such as acrylonitrile, propylene oxide, propylene glycol, and many others.

Propylene oxide is even more reactive that propylene. Propylene oxide is the feedstock for propylene glycols. Propylene glycol is used as an ingredient in products such as coolants, antifreeze, aircraft deicing fluids, hydraulic and brake fluids, heat transfer fluids, food, fragrances, and pharmaceuticals. It can also be used as a raw material for other chemicals such as unsaturated polyesters resins used in paints, varnishes, and solvents that are used in printing inks and urethanes. 

The production capacity of propylene glycol in the world reached 1.6 million metric tons (3.5 billion pounds) in 2010. However, in 2013, the global production of propylene glycol was 8% per year and exceeded 2 million tons. Among the many manufacturers are Dow, Lyondell, Sinopec, Shell, BASF, Repsol, Huntsman, and others. Our goal is to design a plant that will produce 90,000 metric tons/yr. 78,300 metric tons/yr will be Monopropylene Glycol (MPG) and 11,700 metric tons/yr will be Dipropylene Glycol (DPG).

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See more of this Session: Best Senior Design Competition II
See more of this Group/Topical: Process Development Division