Cyclohexane is a cycloalkane with a chemical formula of C6H12. Cyclohexane is a clear colourless liquid which is mainly used in the industrial production of adipic acid and caprolactam, which are precursors to nylon. Globally, more than 90% of cyclohexane produced are used to produce intermediates for nylon. Cyclohexane is also used as a solvent, paint remover and a raw material to make other chemicals.
The main method of manufacturing cyclohexane is through the hydrogenation process of benzene at a temperature of above 300 ℃ in benzene hydrogenation units. In this process, pure benzene and hydrogen which is usually recovered from reformers and crackers are heated and fed to the reactor. This reaction results in high purity cyclohexane, with the product containing less than 50 ppm benzene.
More than 90% of all cyclohexane produced are used to make intermediates such as cyclohexanol, cyclohexanone, adipic acid and caprolactam which will be used to make nylon.
Cyclohexane is used as a non-polar organic solvent. It is frequently used as a recrystallization solvent as many organic compounds exhibit good solubility in hot cyclohexane and poor solubility at low temperatures.