Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC) and JGC Corporation (JGC) have jointly developed a new propylene production process based on each company's proprietary technologies. JGC and MCC have been co-developing the new technology since 2007 to produce propylene using feedstock from among methanol, dimethylether and olefin products whose efficient utilization has not been exploited. The companies have reached a mutual agreement on the construction of a pilot plant and the commencement of a project for the validation of the process, with the aim of commercialization. The process will enable efficient utilization of the stream as well as a lowering of CO2 emissions compared with conventional propylene production methods which use the steam cracker of naphtha.
Propylene, produced by conventional technologies such as the steam cracker of naphtha and fluid catalytic crackers (FCC) of oil refining, is a basic hydrocarbon material in great demand. The domestic demand for ethylene produced by the steam cracker, however, is predicted to decline in the future. The accompanying lower rate of operation for the naphtha steam cracker is therefore raising concerns that propylene production may have to be reduced.
After validation is completed, the two companies will decide on licensing the technologies to the domestic and overseas propylene production markets. Moreover, Mitsubishi Chemical will study the possibility of constructing production lines adopting the new technologies.