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  • Author or Editor: Hsiu-Ling Hsu x
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Phenol is industrially produced by the Hock process, in which cumene hydroperoxide (CHP) is decomposed with sulfuric acid to obtain equimolar amounts of phenol and acetone. Use of the liquid acid requires subsequent neutralization and purification of the phenol at substantial cost, and a waste stream generation that could be avoided if an effective solid acid catalyst could be used. Modified clays exhibit attractive properties as solid acids. Acid treatment produces an increase in surface area and acidity. The present study was undertaken to modify bentonite clay by treatment with hydrochloric acid for the production of phenol and acetone via the decomposition of cumene hydroperoxide. The effects of various parameters such as acid activation, catalyst weight, concentration of CHP, reaction temperature and reusability of catalyst were studied. The results indicate that the acid-modified bentonite catalyst may be used instead of sulfuric acid for selective decomposition of CHP into phenol and acetone.

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