Over 80% of propylene oxide (PO) goes into two main uses: polyether polyols (60%) and propylene glycol (21%). Polyether polyols are used in the manufacture of polyurethanes, in reaction with MDI or TDI , while propylene glycol finds a major outlet in unsaturated polyester resins (UPR). Other uses include production of propylene glycol ethers, flame retardants, synthetic lubricants, oil field drilling chemicals, butanediol, propylene carbonate, alkyl alcohol, isopropanolamines, modified starches and textile surfactants.
Propylene oxide is a volatile, colourless, flammable liquid with a characteristic ether-like odour. It is soluble in water, alcohol, ether, most organic solvents and forms a two-layer system with water. It may polymerise violently due to high temperatures or under the influence of bases, acids and metal chlorides with fire or explosion hazard.
To find out more Propylene Oxide Methodology December 2012