(CAS No. 108-95-2) is the compound in which one hydrogen atom of the
benzene molecule is replaced by a hydroxyl group (C6H5OH). Phenols are aromatic alcohols, alcohols in
which the hydroxy group is directly attached to the aryl ring.
This is evident from the old name for phenol: “carbolic acid”.
- Phenol’s chemical
formula is C6H5OH and as a solid it is a white crystalline compound.
Phenol has a sweet odour which enables it to be used in an air
- Phenols, sometimes
called phenolics, are a class of chemical compounds consisting of a
hydroxyl group attached to an aromatic hydrocarbon group.
- Phenols and
Phenolic compounds are a class of chemicals consisting of a hydroxyl
group attached to an aromatic hydrocarbon group. Phenol is a white to colourless
crystalline solid that melts at 43°C. It is soluble in most organic
solvents and in water.
- Phenol has
been obtained by distillation from petroleum and synthesis by oxidation
of cumene or toluene, and by vapor-phase hydrolysis of chlorobenzene .
- Sources of Phenol :
from cumene (isopropylbenzene) by hydrolysis of its hydroperozide;
byproduct is acetone, from benzenesulfonic acid by fusion with NaOH,
above 300oC, then acidification, from chlorobenzene by high T, P
reaction with NaOH, then acidification Laboratory Preparations, from the
aryl diazonium salt by hydrolysis (water, 100oC); from the aniline, from
- Phenol was first
isolated from coal tar in the coking of coal, but the first commercial
process was the sulphonation of benzene and subsequent fusion with
caustic soda. Most phenol today is synthesized under an indirect
three-step process (called the cumene method).
Phenols are widely used in industry, and are found in many common
materials including: antiseptics ,medical preparations ,resins ,plastics
,cosmetics ,health aids ,foods and beverages.
The major use of
phenol is in the production of phenolic resins and bisphenol Phenol is
also used as a disinfectant and in medicinal preparations. The largest
use for phenol is in low cost, versatile resins.
They are mainly thermoset resins used in plywood adhesion,
construction and the motorcar industry. Phenol is also a powerful
disinfectant and bacteria killer.
Phenol is also used to make chemical intermediates for a wide
range of other applications, ranging from plastics to pharmaceuticals
and agricultural chemicals.
The largest market
for phenol is BPA which is driven by the strong growth in polycarbonate
resins, accounting for two-thirds of BPA demand. The growth in optical
media such as compact discs (CDs), CD-ROMs, recordable CDs and digital
versatile discs (DVDs) has been the driving force in polycarbonate
- The world
market for phenol is 10.7 million t/y. Japan, Korea, Taiwan and
China consume about 35% and the US and Canada use about 30%. The largest
use is for the automobile, consumer and electronics industries. The
second largest use in the US is for phenolic resins for oriented strand
board. Worldwide growth in phenol is forecast at 4.5% over the next 5
years mainly in China.
- The main use for
phenol is to make Bispenol A for polycarbonate resins. The leading
buyers of phenol for this purpose are GE Plastics and Bayer, each using
more than 500,000 t/y in plants throughout the world. Almost one million
t/y of phenol is used to make phenolic resins. Borden Chemical buys more
than one third, 350,000 t/y. Georgia Pacific and Dynea each buy about
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