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KBR, Sumitomo form technology licensing alliance for sustainable propylene oxide production

KBR and Sumitomo Chemical announced that they have signed an alliance agreement to make KBR an exclusive licensing partner for Sumitomo Chemical's state-of-the-art propylene oxide by cumene (POC) technology. Propylene oxide is an intermediate product used primarily in the further manufacture of polyurethanes. Polyurethane is used in many products such as foams, coatings, adhesives and sealants which serve growing industries such as construction, industrials and automotive.

Sumitomo Chemical’s process for propylene oxide production is a unique, environmentally friendly technology that delivers minimal carbon footprint compared to other processes. With lower wastewater generation, and an optimized energy recovery system, this process ensures high propylene oxide yield, and smooth and safe plant operations. 

Under the alliance, Sumitomo Chemical's innovative technology will be delivered to a global customer base, enabled by KBR's global marketing reach and engineering capabilities. Additionally, this technology is complementary to KBR’s existing, leading phenol technology.

“This alliance combines KBR’s proven experience in licensing sustainable chemical processes on a world scale, complemented by Sumitomo Chemical’s outstanding expertise in propylene oxide production and a track record of several decades of safe, stable and reliable plant operations globally,” said Jay Ibrahim, President, KBR Sustainable Technology Solutions. “Sumitomo Chemical’s POC technology not only delivers the co-product-free pathway to produce propylene oxide but also significantly reduces carbon emission through the recent enhancement of its energy efficiency features. This aligns with KBR’s vision and commitment towards providing sustainable solutions to its customers.”

“Sumitomo Chemical is proud to partner with KBR to provide this exceptional and environmentally friendly technology to clients worldwide, through which they can accelerate their sustainability goals while maximizing the value of their propylene derivatives” said Seiji Takeuchi, Sumitomo Chemical’s Senior Managing Executive Officer for the Essential Chemicals & Plastics Sector. “KBR’s extensive licensing and engineering expertise provides Sumitomo Chemical with a world-class partner to expand its pacesetting technology to a wider market.”

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