Cumene Synthesis from Benzene and Propylene Reaction


Cumene (MW = 120.19), used as an intermediary for a number of chemicals, is produced through the reaction of benzene (MW=78.11) and propylene (MW = 42.08) as shown below.

The reaction occurs at 300°C and at 30 atm abs. A schematic of the process is shown in Figure 3.


Benzene, which is available from a storage drum, is initially at 1.5 atmabs and 20°C.  It is first compressed to 30 atmabs in a pump, and then fed into a heat exchanger where it is heated to 300°C. The benzene is then fed into the reactor with propylene in a stoichiometric ratio.  The process, which operates at a 95% overall conversion, produces cumene at a rate of 350g/sec.

a) What is the flow rate of benzene (in kg/sec) into the reactor?
b) What phase is the benzene when it exits the heat exchanger? Prove it.
c) What is the minimum duty (in kW) of the heat exchanger?
d) How much steam (in kg/sec) is required in the heat exchanger?

The Antoine equation for Benzene is given by ln Psat = 13.7819 – 2726.81/t + 217.572

Where the pressure is in kPa and the temperature is in °C.


The question belongs to Chemical Engineering and it is about cumene synthesis from benzene and propylene reaction. Questions regarding this synthesis have been answered in the solution.

Note: The solution is in handwritten format.


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