Cumene is the main feedstock for phenol/acetone production and demand is driven by market growth for the derivatives of phenol and acetone such as bis-phenol A, phenolic resins and caprolactam.

Other uses for cumene are as a thinner for paints, lacquers and enamels, and as a constituent of some petroleum-based solvents. It is also used in manufacturing polymerisation catalysts, catalyst for acrylic and polyester type resins, and as a raw material for peroxides and oxidation catalysts.

Cumene is considered a primary skin and eye irritant and excessive exposure can lead to headaches and narcosis. Cumene is stable at room temperature but must be kept well away from oxidising agents. It is a fire and explosion hazard and above 31°C explosive vapour/air mixtures may be formed.

Cumene is released to the environment as a result of its production and processing, from petroleum refining and the evaporation and combustion of petroleum products and by the use of a variety of products containing cumene. When released to the atmosphere, vapour phase cumene will react with photochemically generated hydroxyl radicals with an estimated half-life of 25 hours in polluted atmospheres and 49 hours in normal atmospheres. Cumene is a contaminant of air, sediments and surface, drinking and groundwater and a natural constituent of a variety of foods and vegetation.

ICIS pricing quotes cumene in the USA.

To find out more Cumene Methodology September 2013

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