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Title: Cumene  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Benzene, Alkylbenzenes, C9H12, Reaction intermediate, Port of Corpus Christi
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Cumene is the common name for isopropylbenzene, an aromatic hydrocarbon with an aliphatic substitution. 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, primarily phenol and acetone.


Commercial production of cumene is by Friedel–Crafts alkylation of benzene with propylene. Cumene producers account for approximately 20% of the global demand for benzene.[1] Previously, solid phosphoric acid (SPA) supported on alumina was used as the catalyst. Since the mid-1990s, commercial production has switched to zeolite-based catalysts.[2]

Isopropylbenzene is stable, but may form peroxides in storage if in contact with the air. It is important to test for the presence of peroxides before heating or distilling. The chemical is also flammable and incompatible with strong oxidizing agents. Environmental laboratories commonly test isopropylbenzene using a Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GCMS) instrument.[3]

Health effects

A review by the [4]

See also


  1. ^ Market Study Benzene, published by Ceresana, July 2011 [1]
  2. ^ The Innovation Group website, page accessed 15/11/07
  3. ^
  4. ^

External links

  • National Pollutant Inventory - Cumene fact sheet
  • CDC - NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards
  • Cumene Production from Benzene and Propylene Using Aluminum Chloride Catalyst
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