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Dow and Süd-Chemie Researching Alternative Routes to Produce Chemicals


Catalysts to help make syngas-to-chemicals conversion economically viable

Midland, Michigan and Munich, Germany - The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) and Süd-Chemie 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 synthetic gas (syngas), that can be derived from abundant resources such as coal or biomass, to “building block” chemicals in a more efficient and economical process.

“This research partnership with Süd-Chemie demonstrates our commitment to generate sustainable solutions that address global energy challenges, while building our portfolio of alternative energy and raw material options,” said Juan Luciano, senior vice president, Hydrocarbons and Basic Plastics. “Dow is exploring innovative ways to reduce our reliance on oil and gas as the raw materials we use to produce chemicals and plastics. Conversion of syngas based on coal or biomass is a promising route for the scale that Dow needs to have an impact.”

As a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, 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 be converted then to “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.

“As a global leader in syngas catalysts development we are very pleased with this partnership with Dow, and convinced that the joint effort will result in most significant results,” said Dr. Günter von Au, Managing Board Chairman and CEO of Süd-Chemie, “For many years, Süd-Chemie has been allocating significant resources in the field of catalysts for alternative feedstock conversion. We are very confident that by partnering with Dow, further efficiency improvement on these processes can be accomplished.”

Dow and Süd-Chemie will be developing the terms of the joint research and development 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 in The Netherlands at Dow’s Terneuzen site and at Sud-Chemie’s catalyst research and development centers located in Germany and the U.S.

About Dow
With annual sales of $54 billion and 46,000 employees worldwide, Dow is a diversified chemical company that combines the power of science and technology with the “ Human Element ” to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. The Company delivers a broad range of products and services to customers in around 160 countries, connecting chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.

About Süd-Chemie

Süd-Chemie AG is a publicly quoted specialty chemicals company headquartered in Munich, Germany and operating on a worldwide scale. Key markets served by its Adsorbents Division include the consumer-goods, packaging and foundry industries, as well as the paper and plastics industries and water treatment. Products manufactured by the Catalysts Division offer solutions for the chemical, petrochemical and refinery industries, for energy storage and hydrogen production, as well as off-gas purification. The common denominator of all its products and innovations is the efficient and sparing use of natural resources to enhance the quality of life for humans and the environment. Süd-Chemie generated sales of €1.075 billion in 2007, approx. 80 percent of these outside Germany. End of 2008, the group employed more than 6,400 people at 80 sales and production sites worldwide.


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