(20g) Partial Oxidation of Benzene to Produce Phenol Using Supercritical Water Between 375 to 440 °C

Wenzel, J. E., Kettering University
Davis, J., Kettering University
Stogsdill, M., Kettering University
Zand, A., Kettering University

Supercritical water can be used to partially oxidize benzene.  Several studies have evaluated the reaction kinetics and mechanisms of benzene partial oxidation ultimately leading to gasification, however benzene may also be partially oxidized to produce benzoic acid and biphenyl in supercritical water.   A notable intermediate of the partial oxidation of benzene is phenol.  The supercritical water partial oxidation of benzene to phenol, benzoic acid, and biphenyl was studied using an agitated 500 mL Hastelloy C276 batch reactor with 30 wt-% hydrogen peroxide as the oxidant.  Reaction temperature was varied between 380 to 440 °C, reaction time from 5 to 30 minutes, and benzene from 1 to 3 mol-%.  To determine the composition of the products, the hydrocarbon-water product mixture was extracted with methyl isobutyl ketone.  The water-MIBK partition coefficients of the principal products as well as optimal reaction conditions and conversion of benzene will be presented.