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PetroLogistics licenses Dow PDH technology for new plant on U.S. Gulf Coast

By Mary Page Bailey |

PetroLogistics ll LLC (Houston; www.petrologistics.com), a portfolio company of Quantum Energy Partners, announced that it has licensed Dow’s proprietary fluidized catalytic dehydrogenation (FCDh) technology and plans to construct a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) facility on the U.S. Gulf Coast that will have a production capacity of 500,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr). The advanced FCDh technology uses a novel reactor design based on fluidized catalytic cracking. The patented technology represents a significant advancement in the production of propylene via PDH. Plants utilizing the FCDh technology are anticipated to have significantly lower capital cost and energy consumption, as well as improved reliability.

PetroLogistics and Dow have each built PDH plants in the US using other conventional PDH technologies.  PetroLogistics built the first PDH plant in North America which commenced operations at its Houston Ship Channel site in 2010.  Concerning their new FCDh project, the Company’s president, Nathan Ticatch said: “It has been 10 years since we successfully constructed and operated the first PDH plant in North America for on-purpose propylene production.  Since that time, developments related to the shale revolution have resulted in a significant decline in co-product propylene production from the sources that historically supplied the majority of US propylene: petroleum refineries and heavy feed ethylene crackers.  As a result, future growth in propylene demand will need to be supplied largely via on-purpose propane dehydrogenation. However, new PDH projects have been slow in coming to market in the US primarily because of challenges relating to capital costs and efficiency of incumbent PDH technologies. We have been working with Dow for three years in evaluating the FCDh technology and we are confident that it addresses those challenges and represents a significant breakthrough in the PDH process.”

The Company is currently engaged in the front-end engineering design for its FCDh plant and has been evaluating two alternative sites on the Gulf Coast to locate the project.   

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