Propylene is mostly used to produce polypropylene (PP) plastics for injection molding and fibers, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of global propylene consumption. Other outlets include acrylonitrile (ACN), propylene oxide (PO), a number of alcohols, cumene and acrylic acid.
The properties of propylene are similar to those of propane. Although the calorific value of the two gases is roughly the same, propylene produces a larger portion of its heat in the primary flame, making the flame hotter and more efficient than that of propane.
There are three grades of propylene; polymer grade with a minimum purity of 99.5%; chemical grade with a minimum purity of 93-94%; and a refinery grade with a purity of around 70% with a minimum of 60%.
Propylene is a by-product from the steam cracking of liquid feedstocks such as naphtha and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), as well as off-gases produced in fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) units in refineries. It is also made via on-purpose technologies such as propane dehydrogenation (PDH) and metathesis.
It is used to produce polypropylene plastics
It is used for injection molding, fibers and for manufacturing cumene
It is used to make acrylonitrile, propylene oxide, acrylic acid, oxo alchols and isopropanol