PEP Review 2004-9
Hexafluoropropylene Oxide Production by a Biphasic Process
Published: November 2004
Hexafluoropropylene oxide (HFPO) is an important intermediate that is used in the production of fluorinated vinyl ethers and fluorinated polyethers. The potential demand for HFPO production will significantly increase if the demand for proton-exchange membranes such as DuPont's Nafion®, Asahi Glass' Flemion®, and Asahi Chemical's Aciplex®increases. Proton-exchange membranes are used in fuel cells for vehicles and power applications. In our previous PEP report from 1983, HFPO was evaluated based on a production capacity of 200,000 lb/yr. To obtain high selectivity to HFPO, low hexafluoropropylene (HFP) conversion was required. More recently, a biphasic process was developed that allowed higher HFP conversion with high HFPO selectivity. In this review, the process economics for HFPO production is updated based on production in a biphasic system and at a higher production volume, 1 million lb/yr.