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ISOPHORONE is a , unsaturated cyclic ketone, colourless to

yellowish liquid with a characteristic peppermint-like smell. It is used
as solvent and as an intermediate in synthesis of organic solvent.

Mol. Formula

: C9H14O

Mol. weight

: 138.21

Boiling point

: 215C

Vapour Pre.@ 20C

: 0.1 mmHg

Density at 20C

: 7.70 lb/gal

Specific Gravity

: 0.9229

Viscosity at 20C

: 2.6 cP

Melting point

: -8.1C


: 1.2 g/100ml




PLANT CAPACITY: 15 Tons per day (Approx.)


Catalytic cyclocondensation of acetone to isophorone

Cyclocondensation of acetone proceeds intially by aldol condensation of
acetone to form diacetone alcohol which on rapid dehydration gives mesityl
oxide . The sequence of reaction that follow thereafter gives rise to complex
mixture of products due to competitive self-condensation and cross
condensation between different ketones that are formed in the reaction as well
as by condensation of acetone with ketones. Main products formed in this
reaction are isophorone, mesitylene, phorone, 3,5- xylenol, m-crysol and
The two primary intermidiate condensation products (dicaetone alcohol and
mesityl oxide) and other products find many industrial applications. Isophorone
is a well known industrial solvent for epoxy and phenolic resins .It is also used
for th preparation of 3,5-xylenol which finds application in the manufacturing
of formaldehyde resins and formulations with anti-bacterial and lungicidal


Raw materials acetone and caustic (50% conc.) are fed to storage tank.
Caustic is diluted to 10% and along with acetone and water in the
reaction column.
In the reaction column, conversion is 6-8%which is increased by adding
the same to hydrolysing column.
In the hydrolysing column, steam is sparged with caustic (50% conc.)
from storage tank. From hydrolysing column steam and some
unconverted product is again fed to the reaction column.
The product from hydrolysing column is first cooled and then sent to
decanter unit.

From the 1st decanter 80% hydrocarbons are separated and remaining
20% sent to 2nd decanter where further separation is done and almost 8587% hydrocarbons are separated and water is removed.
The separated products from decanter are sent to distillation where both
columns (heading and pure column) are operated under vacuum.
From heading column lightens are removed. Heavys and isophorone
obtained as bottom products of heading column are fed to pure column
where heavys are removed from bottom and required product
isophorone is collected from top of pure column.


Isophorone is used as a solvent in some printing inks, paints, lacquers,

Adhesives, copolymers, coatings, finishing and pesticides. It is also used as a
chemical intermediate and as an ingredient in wood preservatives and
Floor sealants.