Sumitomo plans to make propylene from ethanol

Sumitomo Chemical has begun building a pilot plant in Chiba, Japan, that will produce propylene directly from ethanol via a new process. Existing approaches involve multiple intermediates, the firm says. Most propylene is now made from fossil resources, whereas ethanol can be produced from biomass such as sugarcane. Methods of making ethanol from waste plastics or carbon dioxide are being developed, Sumitomo says. The company already makes ethylene from ethanol in a pilot plant in Chiba.

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