Chemical Engineering Science, Vol.199, 398-404, 2019
Microchannel process for phenol production via the cleavage of cumene hydroperoxide
Phenol is commercially produced through cumene hydroperoxide (CHP) cleavage in kettle reactor, having the disadvantages of hazard potential, low selectivity, low efficiency and complicated process. In the study, microchannel reactor has been introduced into the decomposition using sulfuric acid as the catalyst. The influences of various reaction conditions, including temperature, the ratio of sulfuric acid/CHP and residence time, on the reaction have been studied. Compared with kettle reactor, the present process can afford almost quantitative yield of phenol with reduced acid amount and shortened reaction time under higher reaction temperature. The microchannel process can also provide higher security of CHP cleavage. The microtechnology probably gives an alternative protocol for the production of phenol through CHP decomposition. In addition, the possible main reaction pathways for the CHP cleavage in microchannel reactor have been discussed according to the obtained results. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.