Propylene Oxide Home

Applications

Propylene Oxide molecule

Propylene oxide is a highly reactive chemical used as an intermediate for the production of numerous commercial materials. It reacts readily with compounds containing active hydrogen atoms, such as alcohols, amines, and acids. Therefore, propylene oxide is used worldwide to produce such versatile products as:

  • Polyether polyols (polyglycol ethers)
  • Propylene glycols
  • Propylene glycol ethers

Polyether polyols are one of the main components in polyurethane systems and are used in many consumer applications, such as rigid foam insulation and flexible foam seat cushions. Polyether polyols make up the largest share of propylene oxide usage, between 60% and 70% of the total volume. Propylene glycol consumes another 20% of the total volume while propylene-based glycol ethers comprise about 5%. The remaining share goes into other propoxylated or specialty organic compounds.

Other products made using propylene oxide are:

  • Flame retardants
  • Modified carbohydrates (starches)
  • Synthetic lubricants
  • Oil field drilling chemicals
  • Textile surfactants

Use the links on the left to learn more about propylene oxide applications.

For Propylene Oxide Safety Data Sheets, Technical Data Sheets and other technical documents, please go to Technical Information.