PEP Review 87-3-3
Cyclohexanol from Benzene by Asahi Chemical Process
Published: November 1988
Asahi Chemical has built a 60,000 t/yr (132 million Ib/yr) cyclohexanol plant at Mizushima, Japan. The plant produces cyclohexene by partial hydrogenation of benzene followed by hydration of the cyclohexene to cyclohexanol using a process developed by Asahi Chemical. In this review, SRI evaluates the Asahi chemical process and compares its economics with those of the phenol-based cyclohexanol process updated from PEP Report No. 548.
SRI concludes that as a capital investment at a production capacity of 60,000 t/yr (132 million Ib/yr) the Asahi Chemical process is not economically attractive in comparison with the phenol-based cyclohexanol process. However, because of the high cost of phenol, the product value of cyclohexanol produced by the Asahi process lower than that of cyclohexanol produced by the phenol-based process. The favorable position could change as the price relationship of benzene/phenol varies. In the United States, the historical prices generally favored the phenol-based cyclohexanol process. In Japan, the benzene-based cyclohexanol process has been more favorable.