ADM’s first propylene glycol plant is designed to manufacture Industrial Grade and USP Specifications Grade propylene glycol from renewable sources. The plant’s capacity is 100,000 metric tons.
ADM’s renewable propylene glycol is primarily derived from soybeans and canola. The company processes soybean or canola seeds through a crushing, dehulling, conditioning, flaking and extraction operation into a crude vegetable oil. This vegetable oil is further processed into refined oil. The refined oil is then transformed through a transesterfication process into crude biodiesel and crude glycerin. The crude glycerin is further processed through several evaporation and distillation steps into a refined, kosher, USP-specification-grade glycerin. This glycerin is either sold into the market or processed into propylene glycol. The propylene glycol is further distilled into an industrial-grade or a USP-specification-grade propylene glycol.
In addition to manufacturing propylene glycol from glycerin, ADM has the capability to manufacture propylene glycol from sorbitol, a corn-derived sugar alcohol.