PEP Review 86-3-4
m-Aminophenol from Resorcinol by Amination
Published: March 1988
This review presents a technoeconomic evaluation of an improved noncatalytic homogeneous amination process developed by Sumitomo Chemical for the production of m-aminophenol from resorcinol. The process comprises amination of resorcinol with aqueous ammonia at 230°C (450°C and 35 atm (560 psig). The per pass conversion of resorcinol is 63%, or nearly double that of a noncatalytic heterogeneous amination process which was evaluated in PEP Report 171 B, based on a patent assigned to Hoechst.
For a 2,720 metric ton/yr (6 million Ib/yr) unit, SRI concludes that the homogeneous process requires only slightly more total fixed capital than the heterogeneous process, but produces m-aminophenol with a lower product value. Several factors account for the lower product value. The better purification technique used in the homogeneous process requires less raw material, produces a higher yield of m-aminophenol (84.6% vs 78.1%), and generates a by-product credit for the recovery of high purity m-phenylenediamine.