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  • Propylene oxide is a volatile, clear, colorless, extremely flammable liquid with an ether-like odor.
  • Propylene oxide is a highly toxic flammable chemical compound. It is an epoxide having a molecular formula C3H6O.


  • Propylene oxide is obtained through propylene hydro chlorination.
  • Propylene Oxide is produced by the established chlorohydrin process, in which propylene and chlorine react in the presence of water to form the intermediate propylene chlorohydrin.
  • At present there are two major industrial processes used for the synthesis of propylene oxide: The chlorohydrin and peroxide processes.
  • The hydroperoxide process is another costly method for producing propylene oxide(PO).


  • Propylene oxide is also used in the production of propylene glycol, polypropylene glycol, propylene glycols ethers and propylene carbonate.
  • Propylene oxide major industrial application is as a monomer for the production of polyether polyols for use in making polyurethane plastics.
  • Propylene oxide may be used in fumigation chambers for the sterilization of packaged foods and as a pesticide.
  • Propylene oxide is used primarily as a building block for the manufacture of a versatile range of derivative products.


  • The total production capacity of propylene oxide in Japan is approximately 350 thousand tons at present, including the 170 thousand tons of Nihon Oxirane.
  • Propylene oxide is a major industrial product with production of more than 6 million tons per year world wide. Approximately 70% of it is used as polypropylene glycol in the raw materials for urethane, and the remainder is used as propylene glycol in the raw materials for unsaturated polyesters, food product additives and cosmetics.
  • During the past 10 years, propylene oxide grew at a nearly 4 percent annual rate. Propylene oxides's growth should moderate to about 3 percent in the present decade because most of its applications are maturing.

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