cumene process

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An industrial process for making phenol from benzene. A mixture of benzene vapour and propene is passed over a phosphoric acid catalyst at 250°C and high pressure C6H6+CH3CH:CH2 → C6H5CH(CH3)2The product is called cumene, and it can be oxidized in air to a peroxide, C6H5C(CH3)2O2H. This reacts with dilute acid to give phenol (C6H5OH) and propanone (acetone, CH3OCH3), which is a valuable by-product.

C6H6+CH3CH:CH2 → C6H5CH(CH3)2

Subjects: Chemistry.

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