The Dow Chemical Company has introduced a monopropylene glycol—Propylene Glycol Renewable (PGR)—made from glycerin generated during the manufacture of biodiesel.
Dow is currently conducting PGR trials with customers and anticipates having limited commercial quantities available in mid-2007. PGR will be used in such applications as unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) for boat hulls and bathroom fixtures as well as aircraft deicers, antifreeze for automobiles, recreational vehicles and marine and heavy-duty laundry detergents.
Propylene glycols play a significant role in the manufacture of numerous industrial and end-use products, such as unsaturated polyester resins, antifreezes; coolants; aircraft and runway deicing fluids; heat transfer fluids; solvents; flavors and fragrances; cosmetics and personal care products; pharmaceuticals; chemical intermediates; hydraulic fluids; plasticizers and thermoset plastics.
Dow is the world’s largest producer and marketer of PG. Offerings include Propylene Glycol Industrial Grade (PGI); Propylene Glycol USP/EP Grade (PG USP/EP); Propylene Glycol Renewable Grade (PGR); Dipropylene Glycol Regular Grade (DPG); Dipropylene Glycol LO+ Grade (DPG LO+); Tripropylene Glycol Regular Grade (TPG) and Tripropylene Glycol Acrylate Grade (TPG Ac).
According to Mady Bricco, global product director, Propylene Oxide / Propylene Glycol, the production of PGR can be expected to provide additional environmental benefits when compared to propylene-based PG. For example, laboratory tests indicate that manufacturing PGR will consume considerably less fresh water than conventional PG.
Dow has contracted with Dow Haltermann Custom Processing (DHCP), a Dow business unit comprising operations within The Dow Chemical Company and Johann Haltermann, Ltd. to produce PGR from the crude glycerin generated from the production of biodiesel. DHCP will conduct pilot trials and eventually full-scale production of PGR at its Houston location.