Worldwide demand for Phenol as of 2008 was estimated to be 9,000 KTA with a projected 3.5% annual growth rate through to 2015. High growth in the polycarbonate (PC) market has been the primary driver for global phenol market demand because of phenol's properties that make it suitable for various applications in optical storage media (e.g. CDs, DVDs) and automobile glass replacement. Epoxy resins for adhesives, coatings and circuit board applications comprise much of the remaining consumption demand.
In 2007 Bis Phenol A (BPA) accounted for 44% of global phenol consumption and demand for BPA is expected to continue to be driven by growth in PC and resin markets in Asia and the Middle East. At the same time, phenol-formaldehyde (PF) resins accounted for 27% of phenol consumption worldwide. In the US, Western Europe and Japan, growth in phenol consumption for phenol formaldehyde resins is forecast to be slow in 2007-2012. In contrast developing regions such as Southeast Asia, Central and Eastern Europe are expected to increase consumption of PF resins to meet growing local and export markets.
When selecting phenol technology to maximize the return on your capital investment, it makes sense to choose an experienced licensor with a legacy of process innovation and a strong safety record. As a key phenol licensor, KBR's product teams have been involved in leading-edge phenol technology for over 50 years and our execution teams have completed more than 50 phenol projects worldwide. Once your plant is on stream, KBR provides technical services to continually help optimize production and meet your goals. The product quality from the KBR phenol process is a benchmark in the industry and suitable for all applications, including optical grade polycarbonate, epoxy resins, nylon, and others.
KBR remains the leading licensor of phenol capacity in the world, with over 50 years of experience in cumene-to-phenol process design and innovation. Key features of this technology are:
Cumene is oxidized with air at high efficiency to produce cumene hydroperoxide (CHP). CHP is then concentrated and cleaved to phenol and acetone in the presence of an acid catalyst using KBR's Advanced Cleavage System. Our experts have optimized reaction conditions to provide high selectivity and safety. Once the acid catalyst is removed, the cleavage mixture is fractioned to produce high-purity products. The process produces extremely high-quality phenol and acetone suitable for all applications. The fractionation train can be designed to either separate alpha methyl styrene (AMS) as a pure co-product or hydrogenate AMS to cumene for recycle to oxidation. Phenol and, optionally, co-product acetophenone (AP) are recovered from a heavies stream, which is a useful fuel. The aqueous effluent is pretreated to allow efficient biotreatment of plant wastewater.
Having an optimized cumene oxidation system in the phenol technology you choose is essential to generate a high oxidation yield. With KBR, our phenol technology employs a highly efficient dry oxidation system, which results in an oxidation yield of more than 95 percent by lowering the formation of by-products. The operating conditions in the oxidation system are optimized weighing all factors such as reaction kinetics and selectivity, air compression and vent gas treatment cost requirements and process safety by minimizing the inventory of CHP.
While there are other types of phenol technology, KBR's produces the highest purity phenol in the industry. Total cresols are typically less than 100 ppm, and total organic impurities less than 30 ppm. The highly efficient dry oxidation and advanced cleavage systems employed in KBR's phenol technology result in very high yields of phenol and acetone, thus eliminating the need for a heavy-end cracking system found in some phenol plants. This not only reduces capital and operating costs, but also improves product quality.
KBR pioneered the development of many environmental control features used in phenol plants, including the integrated vent scrubbing system, catalytic oxidation of off-gas and efficient dephenolation systems. Many of the benefits from our phenol plants include achieving the lowest emissions, prevention of pollution and meeting the most stringent standards in the industry. KBR developed many of the safety systems used in phenol plants throughout the world. We have continued to develop new systems and improve existing ones as our commitment to safety in each of our phenol plant designs. As a result of this emphasis, KBR phenol plants have an unmatched safety record.
|Purity (dry basis)||99.99 wt%|
|Total Organic Impurities, ex Cresols||20 wt ppm|
|Water||100 wt ppm|
|Solidification Point (dry material)||40.85 °C|
|Total Carbonyls||5 wt ppm|
|2-Methylbenzofuran (2-MBF)||1 wt ppm|
|Sulfuric Acid Discoloration (SAD) test||96% min.|
|Iron||0.1 wt ppm|