Cumene is a volatile, flammable, high boiling, organic compound with a gasoline like odor. It naturally occurs in coal tar and crude oil and is a blending component in gasoline. Commercially, Friedel-Crafts alkylation process is used to manufacture cumene.
The global cumene market is majorly driven by its application as a chemical intermediate to produce phenol and acetone. The phenol and its derivatives produced from cumene accounted to have the major share due to wide applications in various end-use industries such as electrical & electronics, automotive, paints & coatings, cosmetics, and others. The cumene is further used as a solvent for paints, lacquers, and enamels which find their uses in automotive and furniture. The various technology to manufacture cumene include into zeolite catalyst based, solid phosphoric acid, and aluminum chloride. Among these, the cumene production with the zeolite as a catalyst is the leading segment under the production technology category due to its regenerative nature which can be used for several cycles. Additionally, the use of zeolite reduces the water disposable problems associated with solid phosphoric acid, and aluminum chloride. Moreover, the use of cumene as a component of high fuel octane is further driving the market growth due to its application in automotive and transportation sector.
Some of the prominent manufacturers in the global cumene market are Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (Netherlands), Exxon Mobil Corporation (U.S.), BASF SE (Germany), Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd (Japan), The Dow Chemical Company (U.S.), Westlake Chemical Corporation (U.S.), Taiwan Cement Corp. (Taiwan), Braskem (Brazil), China Petrochemical Corporation (China), and SABIC (Saudi Arabia).
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Latest Industry/ Innovation/ Related Updates:
September 2017- Formosa Chemicals and Fibre Corporation (FCFC) announced an expansion of cumene and phenol plant in Ningbo, China and gave a contract for the license and engineering design to CB&I (CBI). The original plant was licensed in 2010 by CB&I based on Versalis technology and will now be re-engineered to achieve even higher capacity.
July 2017- INEOS announced to build a Cumene plant in Germany. INEOS is the world’s largest producer of phenol and acetone and the largest consumer of cumene, which is an essential raw material. INEOS phenol and acetone plants located in Gladbeck and Antwerp is expected to get steady supply of raw material cumene from its new unit at Germany. The company also confirmed that the unit will use Badger cumene technology for manufacturing cumene.
August 2014 – Sumitomo Chemical and Saudi Aramco have integrated their proposed Rabigh II project into their existing joint-venture PetroRabigh. The Rabigh II project is expected to use around 30 million standard cubic feet per day of ethane and three million tons per year of naphtha as feedstock. It is estimated to produce cumene and phenol / acetone, ethylene propylene rubber, thermoplastic polyolefin, methyl methacrylate monomer, polymethyl methacrylate, low-density polyethylene / ethylene vinyl acetate, para-xylene / benzene among other. The existing PetroRabigh facility produces 18 MMT/year of refined products and 2.4 MMT/year of petrochemical products. The Rabigh II will add 15 MMT /year of refined products and 5 MMT/year of petrochemicals.
September 2013– INEOS and China Petrochemical Corporation had signed a joint venture with a total investment of approximately 0.5 USD billion for the design, build and operation of the largest-ever phenol acetone production plant in China. The plant is operational from the start of 2016, and produces 0.4 MMT/year of phenol, 0.25 MMT/year of acetone and 0.55 MMT/year of cumene.
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Cumene Industry Segments:
The global cumene market is segmented on the basis of the product, production technology, application, and region.
Based on the product, the global cumene market is segregated into phenol and acetone.
The production technology of cumene is segmented into zeolite catalyst based, solid phosphoric acid, and aluminum chloride.
On the basis of the application segment, the global cumene market is segmented into chemical intermediate and solvent.
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