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Cyclohexane

By Chemical Engineering |

Last month, BASF AG (Ludwigshafen, Germany; edlinks.chemengonline.com/5825-543) started up its first plant for producing cyclohexane. The $12-million investment, located on the Friesenheimer Island, produces 130,000 m.t./yr cyclohexane from benzene using a new process developed by BASF. Without disclosing details, BASF says the key to the process is a new catalyst that enables operation at lower temperature and pressure compared to conventional routes. The energy released from the exothermic reaction (hydrogenation of benzene) is used in the distillation column for purifying the product. Hydrocarbon byproducts are either utilized within the company, or as feedstock for BASF’s steam cracker. As a result, only 0.5 kg of waste is generated per 1 m.t. cyclohexane produced, says the company.
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