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Business & Economics :: Latest News

January 22, 2009

Dow/Süd-Chemie seek alternative routes to chemicals

Gerald Ondrey

The Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, Mich; www.dow.com) and Süd-Chemie AG (Munich, Germany; www.sud-chemie.com) today announced an agreement to research alternative routes to produce chemicals to help reduce dependence on traditional sources of oil and gas. The collaborative research aims to convert synthesis gas (syngas; H2 + CO) into building-block chemicals in a more efficient and economical process.

Syngas can be produced through gasification and reforming processes from a wide variety of abundant raw materials including coal, petroleum coke, biomass, natural gas and waste products. This highly versatile intermediate can then be converted building-block chemicals, plastics, electricity, and transportation fuels with existing technology, but current capital and conversion costs are steep. Dow and Süd-Chemie’s research will focus on making the conversion process more efficient and economically viable.

Dow and Süd-Chemie will be developing the terms of the joint R&D effort within a couple of months with a plan to initiate the program in April 2009. Focusing on the development and manufacturing of catalysts for the conversion of syngas to chemicals and the direct conversion of syngas to olefins, this joint research program will be conducted at Dow’s Terneuzen, Netherlands, site and at Süd-Chemie’s catalyst R&D centers in both Germany and the U.S.


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