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Information @ a Glance

Introduction

  • Cumene is the common name for isopropylbenzene, an organic compound that is an aromatic hydrocarbon.
  • Cumene is a colorless, flammable liquid that has a sharp, penetrating, gasoline-type odor. Cumene is insoluble (does not mix with water).
  • Cumene can be found in crude oil and is a part of processed high-octane gasoline.

Production Process

  • Commercial production of cumene is carried out through the catalytic alkylation of benzene, with the addition of propylene.
  •  The current process for the production of cumene involves heating  corrosive acid catalysts, cooling, transporting, and distillation.
  • Cumene process is an industrial process for developing phenol and acetone from benzene and propylene.

Technology

  • Modern phenol technology involves oxidation of cumene with air at high efficiency to produce cumene hydroperoxide (CHP).
  • The technology, the world's most advanced for the production of cumene, a chemical intermediate, uses a proprietary Mobil zeolite catalyst that produces yields significantly higher than traditional processes.

Uses

  • Cumene is used as thinner for paints, lacquers and enamels.
  • It is also used in the manufacture of other chemicals commonly found in home cleaning products.

Market

  • Cumene is the main feedstock for phenol/acetone production and demand is driven by market growth for the derivatives of phenol and acetone such as bis-phenol A, phenolic resins and caprolactam.
  • Increased demand for bisphenol A will result in strong demand for phenol. As a result, consumption of cumene for phenol is forecast to show healthy growth rates in most regions.
  • The largest exporters of cumene are the United States (to the Netherlands) and Japan (to the Republic of Korea)

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