PEP Review 2005-12
Current Development of Technology for the Production of Bisphenol A
Published: June 2005
It is well known that mercaptans are used as a promoter for the acidic cation exchange resin in the production of BPA from phenol and acetone by condensation reaction. The catalyst system not only increases the reaction rate but also suppresses the formation of by-products, such as 2,4-BPA [an isomer of BPA, 2-(2-hydroxyphenyl)-2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-propane], tris-phenol and polyphenol so that high purity BPA can be produced without extensive purification. In recent patents assigned to Idemitsu Petrochemical, the acidic cation exchange resin is chemically modified in part with a sulfur-containing amine compound. While suppressing the deterioration of catalytic activity due to the presence of methanol, which is an impurity in acetone, the modification also achieves high conversion of phenol and high selectivity to BPA. The degree of modification depends on the concentration of methanol in the acetone feedstock.
This study reviews current development of technology for the production of BPA, and presents economics for the BPA process using the modified acidic cation exchange resin.