PEP Review 98-03
Propylene Oxide Via Direct Oxidation Of Propylene
Published: September 2000
The search for a single-product direct vapor-phase propylene oxidation technology to propylene oxide using molecular oxygen has long been a holy grail of the chemical industry. Another step in this direction is described in the subject patent (US 6031116, to Dow Chemical, February 29, 2000), which discloses a process that uses a gold catalyst supported on titanium silicalite (TS-1) in the presence of hydrogen. The highest per pass conversion reported in the cited examples is 0.87 mol% at 92 mol% selectivity to propylene oxide. Hydrogen is also combusted in the process in a mole ratio of about 7/1 propylene.
In this review the process is evaluated in a conceptualized 400 million lb/yr (181,000t/yr) propylene oxide plant that was developed starting with the "best" catalyst performance data cited in the patent examples.