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Technology Profile: Isopropanol Production from Propylene

By Intratec Solutions |

This column is based on “Isopropyl Alcohol Production from RG Propylene – Cost Analysis,” a report published by Intratec. It can be found at: www.intratec.us/analysis/isopropyl-alcohol-production-cost. Isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol) is among the most commonly produced lower alcohols — ranked third in commercial production behind methanol and ethanol. Isopropyl alcohol is used as a chemical intermediate for compounds such as methyl isobutyl carbinol, methyl isobutyl ketone and isopropyl acetate, as well as in personal care and household products, pharmaceuticals, coatings and ink solvents, and as a processing solvent, among other uses. The process The following paragraphs describe a typical indirect propylene-hydration process for the production of isopropanol. In this process, refinery-grade (RG) propylene reacts with sulfuric acid to form isopropyl alcohol sulfates, which are then reacted with water to form isopropanol (Figure 1). Figure 1. The diagram shows the production of isopropanol from refinery-grade propylene via indirect hydration[/caption] Reaction. RG propylene gas is fed to the absorber reactor, where it is absorbed by sulfuric acid, forming isopropyl hydrogen sulfate and di-isopropyl sulfate. The liquid…
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