PEP Review 2004-4
Cyclohexanone from Cyclohexane by Bionic Oxidation with Sinopec Technology
Published: February 2004
Recently, a new process to produce cyclohexanone (CHN) from cyclohexane with a bionic catalyst derived from metalloporphyrins has been developed by Sinopec Baling Petrochemical in junction with Hunan University in China. Reportedly, the new catalyst provides cyclohexane conversion of 8-12 % with a selectivity to cyclohexanone/cyclohexanol (KA oil) 92-96 %, which is higher than that with conventional cobalt catalyst in commercial production. In this review, we present a review of this technology, and a techno-economic evaluation of this technology, based on the available public information.
Also presented is economic comparison between the present process and those of two commercial processes — cyclohexanone from phenol by hydrogenation, and cyclohexanone from cyclohexane by conventional oxidation. We conclude that the present process requires relatively 20.8 $million lower capital investment than the conventional oxidation process. As expected, the phenol-based process requires the lowest capital investment due to its simplicity in operation. However, high cost of phenol as compared with that of cyclohexane provides the present process with economic advantage in production costs among the three CHN processes presented in this study.