Published April 2004
1,3-Propanediol (PDO) is a precursor to the polyester polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT). PTT has superior properties to nylon 6 and nylon 66 for carpeting. An obstacle to the commercialization of PTT has been the high cost of production of PDO via acrolein.
Alternate processes for PDO have been in development during the last decade, including Shell's ethylene oxide process via 3-hydroxypropionaldehyde (HPA), and a fermentation process jointly developed by DuPont & Genencor's fermentation.
Samsung and Davy Process Technology have issued several patents using ethylene oxide as a feedstock, but using the methyl ester of 3-hydroxypropionic acid (MHP) as an intermediate stage, rather than 3-hydroxypropionaldehyde.
In this PEP review, we develop a conceptual design and cost estimate based on the patents issued by Samsung and Davy Process Technology.