Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2013, Vol. 86, No. 7, pp. 1118−1140.
Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2013.
Original Russian Text
V. Zakoshansky, 2013, published in Khimicheskaya Promyshlennost’, 2013, Vol. 90, No. 4, pp. 159−184.
TECHNOLOGY OF ORGANIC
AND INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Actual Performance of Key Stages of the Phenol Process:
Present State and Expected Future
4756 Doncaster Court, Long Grove, IL 60047-6929, USA
Received May 12, 2013
Abstract—This article presents an analysis of the actual results of operating the phenol processes licensed by such
companies as ILLA
International (U.S. and Russia, hereinafter collectively referred to as “ILLA”), KBR (U.S.),
, Polimeri Europa/Lummus (Italy/U.S.), and UOP (U.S.) (listed alphabetically) and by the world’s
largest phenol and acetone producer INEOS (U.K.). This analysis may be useful for phenol/acetone producers as
well as for licensees who engage in an evaluation of technical and commercial bids for a grassroots phenol project.
The following abbreviations of chemical
compound names are used throughout this article:
CHP Cumene Hydroperoxide
DMBA Dimethyl Benzyl Alcohol
DCP Dicumyl Peroxide
2-MBF 2-Methyl Benzofuran
MO Mesityl Oxide
Introduction. Chemical manufacturing companies
who decide to obtain their ﬁ rst license for a phenol
process, typically select a process on the basis of several
factors. These may include technical and commercial
bids that they receive from licensors, their visits to the
licensors’ reference units, or information gleaned from
their meetings and correspondence with licensors. While
these are necessary steps, these factors alone are an insuf-
ﬁ cient basis from which to choose the best technologies
or phenol process. In search of an objective answer to the
question, “Which technologies and which phenol process
are the best ones overall?”, the author relied not on data
found in the licensors’ bid proposals or their presentations
at phenol conferences (which as a rule are not very true
to life and are of a distinctly self-promoting nature), but
rather on data from the detailed studies of many commer-
cial facilities operating technologies of all the licensors
mentioned above. In addition, the data from these studies
were rechecked at the experimental facilities of ILLA
so as to exclude any process disturbance and in order to
determine the optimum performance values of the tech-
nologies under ideal conditions and compare them to the
performance values of existing commercial technologies,
taking into consideration that such disturbances should
not be put aside or ignored in assessing the technologies.
Furthermore, the author, who knows the details of all of
the existing technologies , relies on his vision of the
phenol process and its constituent technologies both in
the context of current realities and for the next 5 to 10
years, as if he were building a phenol plant of his own. In
other words, what are the speciﬁ c reasons that the author
rejects a particular competitor’s (licensor’s) technology
when building a phenol plant of his own?
Choosing the Best Conventional Phenol Process.
Ultimately, the choice should be based on the perform-
ance values of all the constituent technologies, but the
key roles are reasonably assigned to cumene oxidation
and CHP cleavage technologies (considering process
Mitsui has recently entered the licensing market and sold a license
in Singapore and in China.