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Demand for propylene is estimated to grow to 130 million tonnes worldwide by 2023, rising from the current 90 million tonnes, according to the latest data from the IHS Chemical North American Propylene Supply Study.


The report said that the increase in demand for propylene is driving the need for on-purpose propylene production and the trend is expected to continue until 2023.


Propylene, which is a key chemical building block, is primarily produced as a co-product in steam crackers and is a by-product in refineries. Propylene is used in a wide variety of applications, including the production of polypropylene plastics such as films and packaging.


In 2013, on-purpose propylene production accounted for 12% of worldwide propylene production, compared to 3% in 2003.


By 2023, approximately 30% of global propylene production will be on-purpose, which is derived from metathesis and propane dehydration processes, IHS said.


IHS Chemical global olefins senior director and author of the study Chuck Carr said: “Looking forward, propane dehydration is expected to be the most significant source of increasing global on-purpose propylene production, and will be the process most likely employed in the United States, the Middle East and Asia for this production.



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