PEP Review 76-2-4
Phenol by Direct Oxidation of Benzene
Published: January 1977
Shell has developed a process for the production of hydrogen peroxide and its in situ use in the oxidation of organic compounds. Included is an example for producing phenol from benzene at a significantly higher selectivity and yield than noted in previous direct oxidation routes. The present screening evaluation tries to pinpoint the problems that would be involved in producing phenol by such a route, and to ascertain whether it would have any commercial potential.
The evaluation suggests that this route might be developed as a competitive process. However, this is contingent upon identification of a reaction solvent which would allow the product phenol to be recovered by solvent extraction rather than distillation.