Nonylphenol is a colorless, viscous liquid with a characteristic phenolic odour. It is a mixture of isomers containing mainly p-nonylphenol. Nonylphenol is soluble in aliphatic alcohols, ketones, esters and aliphatic hydrocarbons. Very difficult to dissolve in water.
Physicochemical properties of Nonylphenol:
Nonylphenol is an intermediate in the manufacturing proces.
The process of producing Nonylphenol involves the alkylation of phenol with propylene trimer to a strongly acidic ion exchange resin as a catalyst, followed by isolation of the product in two-stage distillation under vacuum. Propylene trimer and phenol are continuously added to the reaction system. The reaction consists of multiple circulation of the reaction mixture, at a suitable temperature, through the catalyst bed placed in the reactor. The post-reaction mixture is discharged from the reaction system continuously, contacted with the anion exchanger to remove the acidic substances and it is subjected to distillation on a film evaporator operating under vacuum.
During the initial distillation two fractions are obtained. The light fraction (unreacted raw material) returns to the reaction system, while the heavy fraction (crude nonylphenol) is subjected to periodic distillation under vacuum. In the course of periodic distillation, the first running is recycled to the process and nonylphenol is obtained. The distillation residue is collected and distilled under vacuum to extract nonylphenol, which then returns to the process. The final residue is removed from the process and used to form the poly alkylphenol fraction. Non-reactive impurities of the raw material (propylene trimer) accumulating in circulating technological streams, are removed as hydrocarbon fractions by fractional condensation during pre-distillation.
Nonylphenol is a raw material for the production of surfactants, antioxidants and additives for lubricating oils. This compound can be subjected to ethoxylation to produce nonionic surfactants that are used industrially, commercially and in households. The residues can be used for high-performance liquids, powders and cleaning products in households. The most widely used compounds are the ethoxylates with 9 moles of ethylene oxide per 1 mole of nonylphenol. Ethoxylates with the lowest number of moles (4-6 moles of ethylene oxide) are used as emulsifiers for lubricants and lube oils and for surfactants. Ethoxylates with number of ethylene oxide moles higher than 13 are used as polymerization emulsifiers and pesticide adjuvants.
Nonylphenols are the main surfactants in the textile industry, where they are used in operations on fixed parts of the mechanical press and in dyes and fiber cleaning. In the paper industry they are used as wetting agents and are also a component of latex paints. Nonylphenols are also used in plastics and metals processing. Ethoxylated nonylphenol can also be sulfonated or phosphorylated to produce anionic detergents.
Markets and applications
Building & Construction / Concrete & mortar additives, Construction adhesives, Road construction
CASE / Adhesives, Coatings, Elastomers, Sealants
Lubricants and functional fluids / Industrial lubricants
Metallurgical industry / Metal cleaning, Metalworking
Mining & Drilling / Metal mining, Oil&gas extraction
Paints & Coatings
Plastics / Polymer additives
Raw materials and intermediates
Raw materials & intermediates