Phenol is very useful intermediate in the manufacture of petrochemicals, drugs, agrochemicals, and plastics. Commercially, phenol is produced by a three-step, high-energy consumption process known as the cumene process. The conversion of a chemical to a value-added product is always economically desirable. More than 90% of phenol consumption in the world is manufactured by the multistep cumene process, in which acetone is coproduced in 1: 1 molar ratio with respect to phenol. However, the drawbacks of the three-step cumene process have spurred the development of more economical routes to decrease energy consumption, avoid the formation of explosive cumene hydroperoxide, and increase the yield. The objective of this article is to highlight benzene-to-phenol conversion technologies with emphasis on direct conversion methods. Gas phase and liquid phase reactions are the two main routes for direct oxidation of benzene to phenol. Indirect methods, such as the cumene process, and direct methods of benzene-to-phenol conversion are discussed in detail. Also discussed is the single-step reaction of benzene to phenol using oxidants such as O2, N2O, and H2O2. Catalytic conversion of benzene to value-added phenol using a chemically converted graphene-based catalyst, a cost-effective carbon material, is discussed.
Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 24, 2017
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