Bisphenol-A (BPA), an organic compound used as a primary monomer in epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics, is produced by a reaction of two phenols with one acetone catalyzed by a cation exchange resin. BPA is separated from the reaction products through the crystallization of BPA-phenol adduct crystals. Adduct crystal consists of an equimolar solid mixture of BPA and phenol. Products of side reactions and the unreacted compounds may affect the crystallization yield and product quality. This study aims at investigating the influence of different concentrations of water and acetone on the yield and product size distribution in adductive crystallization of BPA. Experiments were performed in a comparative method from phenolic solutions in the absence of impurity and in the presence of different concentrations of acetone and water as impurities. Crystallization experiments were carried out in 250-ml-plastic-bottles installed in a rotating water bath. Experimental results showed that water and acetone will decrease the crystallization yield and the average size of product particles. However, water in reduction of yield was more influential than acetone and in reduction of average size of product was less influential. These effects may be attributed to the increase in solubility of BPA in phenolic solution and the blockage of active sites on seed crystals by water and acetone molecules.
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