Cumene

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Infobox on Cumene
Example of Cumene
Cumene-1.jpg
Facts
Origin -
Stowage factor (in m3/t) -
Humidity / moisture -
Ventilation -
Risk factors -

Description

Cumene (not be confused with cumin or cumulene).

Appearance Colorless liquid
Density 0.862 g cm-3, liquid
Melding point -96°C, 177 K, -141° F
Boiling point 152°C, 425 K, 306°F
Main hazards flammable
Flash point 43°C
Insoluble in water


Cumene is the common name for isopropylbenzene, an organic compound that is based on an aromatic hydrocarbon with an aliphatic substitution. It is a constituent of Crude Oil and refined fuels. It is a flammable colourless 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.

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.

Commercial production of cumene is carried out through the catalytic alkylation of benzene, with the addition of propylene. Solid phosphoric acid (SPA) supported on alumina can also be used as a catalyst, and this was the case prior to the mid-1990's when zeolite-based catalysts made the other technique commercially redundant. This process is other wise known as Friedel-Crafts alkylation reaction.

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 GCMS instrument.

Application

Fluorocarbon plastics, solvent, analytical chemistry, fumigant, insecticides.

Risk factors

Toxic by inhalation; anesthetic, pro-longed inhalation or ingestion may be fatal. TLV: 10 ppm in air, 50 mg/m3 of air. OSHA PEL: 50 ppm for 10 minutes. A carcinogen. It has been prohibited by FDA from use in drugs, cosmetics and food packaging, including cough medicines, toothpastes, etc. Non flammable. Will burn on pro-longed exposure to flame or high temperature.

Check ISO Code and applicable MSDS sheets.