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Chemetry and TechnipFMC to collaborate on licensing novel production process for propylene oxide

By Mary Page Bailey |

Chemetry (Moss Landing, Calif.; www.chemetry.com) and TechnipFMC (Houston; www.technipfmc.com) have signed an exclusive cooperation agreement for the licensing and engineering of Chemetry’s eShuttle technology for the production of Propylene Oxide (PO). PO is a commodity chemical produced worldwide and used primarily in polyurethanes products, coatings, and personal care products. Compared to most commonly used processes, Chemetry’s PO production technology significantly lowers energy use, reduces carbon footprint and capital expense, and nearly eliminates waste water generation.

The technology uses a unique metal halide ion process to produce high purity PO without generating harmful chlorine gas or large quantities of wastewater. Compared to the chlorohydrin process, the eShuttle PO process uses 60% less electrical power and has no waste water effluent to treat. The anticipated capital cost for the eShuttle process is approximately 25% less than the cost for a comparable world scale facility.

The agreement leverages Chemetry’s expertise in electrolyzer design, electrochemistry, and catalysis with TechnipFMC’s global strength in technology licensing, process scale-up, engineering and procurement. TechnipFMC’s Process Technology center in Boston, Massachusetts, which has extensive first-of-a-kind technology development and engineering experience, will manage the agreement.

“Since its founding, Chemetry has been focused on redefining how chemicals are made. Our technologies lower energy requirements, reduce environmental impact, and provide for safer operations while at the same time improving margins,” said Dr. Ryan Gilliam, Chemetry CEO. “Our first solution is for the production of EDC, and with our new process for PO, we are unveiling a platform with a lasting positive impact on the chemical industry and the environment overall.” Chemetry’s EDC technology was selected as a finalist for the 2017 Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement Award.

The eShuttle PO technology consumes only electricity, propylene and oxygen, producing PO in a near zero discharge process. As with the company’s EDC Process, by reusing portions of an existing plant’s infrastructure and process, retrofits of existing PO plants are possible. In addition, the lower capital and operating expense offer the opportunity for smaller plants to be located near existing customers, further reducing the carbon footprint of the supply chain.

Stan Knez, President, TechnipFMC Process Technology, states: “TechnipFMC is pleased to work with Chemetry on this innovative project. Our strong technology, engineering and commercialization experience coupled with Chemetry’s catalysis and electrochemistry expertise will enable us to provide customers with a complete technology and engineering package, a single point of interface and the highest quality standards. With the support of TechnipFMC’s technical team in Boston, we look forward to bringing the technology forward to full commercialization.”

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