First-its-kind bio propylene glycol production plant unveiled in Belgium

BASF and Oleon have celebrated the opening of a first-its-kind bio propylene glycol production plant in Ertvelde, Belgium. The plant leverages a highly sustainable glycerin-based manufacturing technique devised and licensed by BASF to manufacture bio propylene glycol. Oleon played a key role in the realization of the process. Hydrolysis of propylene oxide, a product derived from crude oil, is the traditional process to manufacture propylene glycol. On the other hand, glycerin is used as the starting material at the Ertvelde facility. Glycerin is derived from oils and fats formed as by-products during the production of oleochemicals. Moreover, the ground-breaking glycerin-based process employed at the Ertvelde plant involves fewer manufacturing steps when compared to hydrolysis, thus enabling Oleon to achieve highly efficient bio propylene glycol production. BASF also delivers the chemical catalysts, which play a key role in the cutting-edge bio propylene glycol production. Propylene glycol is a multifunctional alcohol used in cosmetic products and pharmaceuticals, as well as in plasticizers and solvents.
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