Published: November 1972
Bisphenol A (BPA) and phosgene are two chemical intermediates that have risen to commercial importance in recent years. Both are major raw materials for the manufacture of the relatively new high-temperature polycarbonate resins. In addition, large quantities of BPA are used for the production of epoxy resins. A third and much smaller outlet for BPA is in antioxidant and stabilizer compositions. Here, tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) is important for its antioxidant and flame retardant properties. Phosgene has a large and rapidly growing second application in isocyanates for polyurethane manufacture.
The purpose of this report is to examine the technology and economics of commercial processes to produce both BPA and phosgene. Also considered briefly is the bromination of BPA to yield TBBPA. The polycarbonate, epoxy resin, isocyanate, and polyurethane end-use materials that have been studied in previous Process Economics Program (PEP) reports are not included here. Phenol waste disposal problems that are an important part of the BPA production, as well as for other plants where phenol is a raw material or product, are dealt with in detail in a separate section in this report.
Information used in this study has been obtained from books, journals, trade publications, and patents published subsequent to 1955. Equipment cost data have been taken from published cost correlations and from data developed by SRI. Where necessary, the costs for special equipment items were quoted by the supplier, Capital and production cost estimates generally follow standard PEP procedures based on a Texas Gulf Coast location.