Propylene is a colourless, highly flammable gas. It is produced by several routes, the most common of which is as a co-product of ethylene production from steam crackers. Propylene is also produced through fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) of feedstock, usually vacuum gas oil for gasoline production. This is the major source of supply in the US. Output from FCCs is not of a sufficiently good quality to be usable for chemical applications and upgrading is needed through a splitter for most chemical applications. Propylene can also be produced by the on-purpose de-hydrogenation of propane.

Propylene consumption is dominated by polypropylene which accounts for 60% of global consumption. Other important derivatives include acrylonitrileoxo alcohols,propylene oxidecumene and acrylic acid. Other applications include oligomers, iso-propyl alcohol and fine chemicals.

Propylene is highly flammable and needs to be stored in pressurised or refrigerated tanks.

ICIS pricing quotes propylene in EuropeAsia-Pacific (including China) and the US Gulf.

To find out more Propylene Methodology November 2012

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