A nickel catalyzed hydrogenation system converts acetone and hydrogen to isopropanol (IPA).
An alkylation reactor system converts benzene and IPA to cumene in the liquid phase. A small fraction of the cumene is further alkylated to PIPB which will be recovered in distillation and converted to cumene in the transalkylation reactor.
A single bed transalkylation reactor converts the small amount of PIPB formed in the alkylator to additional cumene by reaction with benzene in the liquid phase.
A simple energy efficient distillation train is used to return excess unreacted benzene to the alkylation and transalkylation reactors, recover cumene product and recycle PIPB to transalkylation.