Propylene glycol production plants – add value and flexibility to your propylene downstream

Propylene glycol (PG) production offers a unique and exciting opportunity for propylene oxide (PO) and/or polyol producers who are interested in diversifying their product slate. Propylene glycols make up for 20% of the global propylene oxide consumption. Unlike other PO derivatives that are mostly tailored specialty products, glycols are pure substances comprising just one type of molecule.

thyssenkrupp’s glycol technology is characterized by low turndown ratio and agile ramp up behavior. Thus, it is well suited to serve flexible market demands. PO consumption can be shifted flexibly between Polyols and Glycols. Fluctuations in one market segment can be cushioned by adapting your production as needed.

Propylene Glycol Plant

If a producer adds new polyether-polyol capacities to the market, the market might require some time to adjust to the new situation. In an integrated production environment including propylene oxide, polyols for polyurethanes and propylene glycols, PG can fill the gap between early return on investment by ramping up PO production on the one hand and allow slow ramp up of polyol production on the other hand.

In the production of Polyether-Polyol for Polyurethanes, Monopropylene Glycol and Dipropylene Glycol are typical starter molecules to manufacture a wide variety of Polyol products. Having own glycol production and storage on site makes a Polyol producer independent with respect to an important raw material.

A safe and modular design – and synergies between processes


thyssenkrupp and Evonik have jointly developed the HPPO process for the production of propylene oxide. Having succeeded in multiple HPPO projects as licensor and as engineering contractor, thyssenkrupp is experienced in the design of propylene oxide processing systems. The same design philosophies and safety standards as in HPPO have been adopted to the design and procedures of the propylene glycol process to ensure utmost safety in plant operations and handling of propylene oxide.

Synergies in an integrated chemical complex

In a joint chemical production environment where PG-production is combined with HPPO and/or polyols, the client can benefit from various synergies between the plants. This starts already in the engineering and implementation phase. Systems for utilities supply and effluent treatment can be combined to provide their services more efficiently than multiple individual solutions for stand-alone plants. In the operation phase, human resources for plant operation and maintenance can be shared. The same is true for laboratory staff and analytic equipment. There are also strategic benefits like independence from raw material supply and fast reaction to product market demands.

Modular plant design

The erection of a propylene glycol plant can follow a conventional stick-build approach. However, equipment size and arrangement in this process provide also excellent pre-conditions for modular design. thyssenkrupp has considerable experience in the design, construction and delivery of pre-assembled modular plants. Our modular design comes with various advantages like early and assured delivery and minimum site construction hours.

Propylene glycol production - process description

thyssenkrupp’s propylene glycol process enables the production of propylene glycols (PG) from propylene oxide (PO). Propylene glycols comprise a product family of monopropylene glycol (MPG), dipropylene glycol (DPG) and longer chain Heavy Glycols (HG). The propylene glycol process is a continuous process ensuring continuous product quality.

Our flowsheet for producing propylene glycols is based on three key steps:

Propylene Glycol Flowsheet

Propylene glycol from thyssenkrupp: suitable for food and pharma applications

thyssenkrupp’s propylene glycol process utilizes high purity propylene oxide and water as only ingredients. Thus its products can be considered to be 100% synthetic. This is a valuable feature for applications in the food and pharma sector as the glycols do not contain any of the known allergens like gluten or lactose. Furthermore, the products will fulfill all Halal and KOSHER requirements