Phenol is derived from benzene and propylene. These raw materials are first used to produce cumene, which is then oxidised to become cumene hydroperoxide, before being split into phenol and its co-product, acetone.
Phenol plays a major role in our everyday lives. Plywood, window glazing, DVDs and CDs, computers, sports equipment, fibre glass boats, automotive parts and accessories, circuit boards and flat panel televisions are some of the many items that rely on this important raw material.
The largest single market for phenol is in the production of Bisphenol A (BPA), which is manufactured from phenol and acetone. BPA is, in turn, used to manufacture polycarbonate (the largest and fastest growing use for BPA) and epoxy resins. Both polycarbonate and epoxy resins are used in many different industries and in countless items which we encounter every day.
Phenol is a major component of phenolic adhesives used in wood products such as plywood and oriented strand board. It is also used to produce phenolic resins used in the moulding of heat-resistant components for household appliances, counter-top and flooring laminates, and foundry castings.
In addition, it is a valuable intermediate in the manufacture of detergents, agricultural chemicals, medicines, plasticisers, and dyes.
When reacted with bromine, BPA forms the fire retardant tetrabromobisphenol A. BPA is also used to manufacture engineering thermoplastics such as polysulfones and polyacrylates.
Our key strengths in phenol
- Consistent quality product
- World's largest cumene/phenol manufacturing facility
- Flexible logistics with multiple modes of transport such as deep sea vessel, barge, rail car and truck
- Well-developed product stewardship support that includes customer advice on the safe handling of phenol and participation in industry-sponsored activities