Nonylphenol Product Chemistry

Nonylphenol (NP) is the commercial description for a complex mixture of nine-carbon alkyl-chain substituted phenols. NP is produced through the Friedel-Crafts alkylation of phenol with nonene, which, in the presence of an acid catalyst, preferentially alkylates at the para position of phenol. Commercial nonene does not contain linear C9H18 alpha-olefin; rather, it is a complex mixture of highly branched, predominantly nine-carbon olefins known as propylene trimers. Therefore, the NP formed by the alkylation of phenol with propylene trimers is also a very complex mixture of branched isomers with the following approximate composition: ortho-NP (3-6%), para-NP (90-93%), and decylphenol (2-5%). Since the para isomer predominates, the product is most accurately described as para-nonylphenol, branched (p-NP or PNP).

Due to the branching in the nonene used to make NP, linear nonylphenol, also known as n-nonylphenol is not produced commercially, though it can be synthesized in laboratory quantities

Click for table summarizing CAS numbers and nomenclature for NP.

Octylphenol Product Chemistry

OP is produced by the reaction of phenol with octene. The most important OP is made using the dimer of isobutylene and consists primarily of a single isomer 4-(1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl)phenol. The octyl group is positioned predominantly in the para position on the phenol ring, though isomers with the octyl group located at the ortho position are also formed.

CAS RN 140-66-9 is considered to be the commercially relevant identifier of OP (4-tert-octylphenol).

Click for table summarizing CAS numbers and nomenclature for OP.