Definitions

Cumene

Cumene

[kyoo-meen]
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Cumene is the common name for isopropylbenzene, an organic compound that is an aromatic hydrocarbon. It is a constituent of crude oil and refined fuels. It is a flammable colorless liquid that has a boiling point of 152 °C. Nearly all the cumene that is produced as a pure compound on an industrial scale is converted to cumene hydroperoxide, which is an intermediate in the synthesis of other industrially important chemicals such as phenol and acetone.

Production

Commercial production of cumene is carried out through the catalytic alkylation of benzene, with the addition of propylene. Solid phosphoric acid (SPA) supported on alumina can also be used as a catalyst, and this was the case prior to the mid-1990s when zeolite-based catalysts made the other technique commercially redundant.

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