Sumitomo Chemical to produce propylene from ethanol

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Sumitomo Chemical is building a pilot facility to establish a process for producing propylene directly from ethanol.
The development of this technology is one of the projects supported by the NEDO Green Innovation (GI) Fund.
The company will work to complete the construction of the pilot facility at the Sodegaura site of its Chiba Works in Japan by the first half of 2025 and step up efforts to quickly implement the technology in society.
Currently, it is mainly produced by cracking fossil resources, such as naphtha, and classified as an upstream petrochemical.
Ethanol, meanwhile, can be produced from biomass, such as sugarcane and corn, and it is anticipated that technology for manufacturing ethanol at scale from combustible waste, waste plastics or carbon dioxide will be established in the near future.
Sumitomo Chemical will acquire the necessary data for scaling the process for commercial production from the pilot facility, while also providing samples of polypropylene using the propylene produced in the pilot facility for customer evaluation.
The company aims to start commercial production with the new process, as well as licensing of the technology to other companies, by the early 2030s.

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