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Analysis, Synthesis, and Design of Chemical Processes, Fifth Edition by Debangsu Bhattacharyya, Richard Turton, Joseph A. Shaeiwitz, Wallace B. Whiting, Richard C. Bailie

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Project 5: Problems at the Cumene Production Facility, Unit 800

C.5.1 Background

Cumene (isopropyl benzene) is produced by reacting propylene with benzene. During World War II, cumene was used as an octane enhancer for piston engine aircraft fuel. Presently, most of the worldwide supply of cumene is used as a raw material for phenol production. Typically, cumene is produced at the same facility that manufactures phenol.

The plant at which you are employed currently manufactures cumene in Unit 800 by a vapor-phase alkylation process that uses a phosphoric acid catalyst supported on kieselguhr. Plant capacity is on the order of 90,000 tonne/y of 99 wt% purity cumene. Benzene and propylene feeds are brought in by tanker trucks and stored in tanks ...

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