By David Shaw, UT contributing editorFrankfurt, Germany-DegussaHeadwaters, a joint venture between Degussa AG and Headwaters Inc., based in South Jordan, Utah, has successfully installed a pilot plant for direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide (DSHP) into another pilot plant for manufacturing propylene oxide (PO) using Degussa-Uhde technology. This announcement marks the first time that propylene oxide has been generated directly from hydrogen peroxide, the firm claims. DegussaHeadwaters said in a statement that it expects to complete a full-scale version of the DSHP process by end of 2006, and make the technology commercially available in 2007.The industrial process for the direct synthesis uses a nanocatalyst developed by Headwaters to react hydrogen and oxygen gases to form hydrogen peroxide. “The hydrogen peroxide is produced as a dilute solution in methanol and can be directly converted into propylene oxide in the PO process,” explained Thomas Haas, general manager of DegussaHeadwaters. “Our direct synthesis operates below the explosion limit, ensuring a safe process,” he added. “
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