August 14, 2017
PENETRON Helps Dow Convert Propane into Plastic
The August 2017 opening of the expanded Oyster Creek propylene production facility in Freeport on the Gulf Coast of Texas is part of Dow Chemical’s multi-billion dollar investment to take advantage of low market prices for shale gas. PENETRON crystalline technology is a key part of the plan.
The latest expansion project at the Dow Oyster Creek Facility – one of the largest integrated chemical manufacturing complexes in the world – comprised a Propylene Dehydrogenization (PDH) unit and a state of the art Light-Hydrocarbon (LHC-9) unit. The new plant can now produce 750,000 tons of polymer grade propylene from propane annually. The LHC-9 ethylene cracker has a capacity of 1.5 million tons per year using both ethane and propane as feedstock.
“Logistically, this was a mammoth project with organizational issues that ranged from water craft recruiting strategies and finding sufficient construction equipment and tools to hiring and managing almost 4,000 design, construction, administrative and water craft personnel,” explains Christopher Chen, Director of The PENETRON Group. “The massive scope of construction made ease of application and reliability of the concrete treatment solution a priority.”
PENETRON ADMIX SB was specified as a robust waterproofing solution that is also packaged in pre-measured soluble bags. The soluble bags simplified correct dosage of the admixture during the batching phase by Alamo Concrete Products and saved time in the overall construction schedule.
The waterproofing and increased concrete durability properties of PENETRON ADMIX are a result of the capillary crystalline network growth unleashed by the admixture. This technology is different from the usual superficial systems, as it reacts with the concrete and forms integral waterproofing protection. The insoluble crystalline network is formed in the pores and capillaries, preventing penetration of water and aggressive agents into the concrete. Finally, water penetration resistance is increased and the concrete gains a self-healing capability.
PENETRON ADMIX SB was employed to treat the concrete used for the two water containment tanks – each with a capacity of 1.5 million gallons (5.7 million liters) – and the walls of the ethylene production facility housing the tanks. PENETRON crystalline topical material was applied to the positive side of the exterior walls to add extra protection from hydrostatic pressure; PENECRETE MORTAR was used to permanently seal any emerging cracks in the building's concrete structures – to provide waterproofing and enhanced concrete durability.
“PENETRON’s crystalline technology can be applied as a crystalline admixture or as a coating that penetrates into the concrete,” adds Mr. Chen. “Either way, the waterproofing protection and added durability is permanent.”