PEP Review 98-11
Production of Phenol From Benzene and Hydrogen Peroxide
Published: May 2002
Phenol is produced by reacting benzene with hydrogen peroxide in an agitated two liquid phase reaction system consisting of water, hydrogen peroxide, the substrate, acetonitrile, and a catalyst complex comprised of a Fe++ salt, a nitrogen containing heteroaromatic carboxylic acid, and trifluoracetic acid. The hydrogen peroxide and catalyst system distribute primarily in the aqueous phase while the benzene, acetonitrile, and product phenol distribute primarily in the organic phase. A conceptual process flow scheme is developed based on the best laboratory results reported in the patent (benzene conversion/selectivity to phenol (mol%) 14/95; hydrogen peroxide conversion/selectivity to phenol 99/71). The process is simulated and the results of the simulation used to develop capital and production costs for a 200 MM lb/yr phenol plant.