Definition: “Propylene” is the common name given to the Propene. It is a gas, not to be confused with the Propane. Propylene may also be called Methylethylene.
Comments: From process perspective, the Propylene is a byproduct as produced in parallel of the Ethylene during the cracking operations in the steam cracker as shown in the flowchart above. It can also be obtained also as byproduct during the fraction distillation during the refining process. Then the Propane dehydrogenation and the famous Fischer-Tropsch process are the other ways delivering Propylene.
Regarding the applications, the Propylene is the second most used olefins family after ethylene, it is the base for the:
- Polypropylene (PP), well known as most of our plastic uses in bags, packaging, caps, etc….
- Acrylonitrile, more popular as acrylic fibres
- Propylene oxide (PO), which goes into polyurethane resins
- Oxo alcohols, used for PVC plasticisers and coatings
- Cumene, converted into epoxy resins and polycarbonate
- Combined with Benzene, the Propylene produces Acetone.