PEP Review 86-2-1
Allyl Alcohol from Propylene, Showa Denko
Published: January 1988
Showa Denko has recently completed construction of an allyl alcohol plant at its Oita complex in Japan. The plant produces the alcohol by vapor-phase oxidation of propylene to allyl acetate followed by liquid-phase hydrolysis of the acetate to allyl alcohol. A new refining technology developed by the company is used to raise the purity of the product to 99.0 wt%.
In this study, SRI evaluates the Showa Denko process, and compares its economics with those of a commercial process which produces allyl alcohol by isomerization of propylene oxide (plant capacity 12,000 mt/yr in both cases). Our analysis shows that the much higher capital for the Showa Denko process (four times that for the isomerization process) cannot be compensated for by a large raw material cost advantage. On the U.S. Gulf Coast, the isomerization process would be preferred. In Japan, where the raw material price structure is different, the Showa Denko process is likely to be more economical.
In addition, the somewhat higher purity claimed for the Showa Denko process may justify a somewhat higher price in some applications.