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Cyclohexane

Cyclohexane (also known as CYX, hexamethylene, hexahydrobenzene, hexanaphthene, and benzenehexahydride) is a colourless, volatile, and flammable liquid with the formula C6H12.   It has a mild odour and is insoluble in water but soluble in alcohol, ether, acetone, benzene, and ligroin.  Cyclohexane occurs naturally in petroleum crude oil, volcanic gases and cigarette smoke.

Production

Industrial cyclohexane can be produced by two methods.  The first is the catalytic hydrogenation of benzene using rhodium on carbon, and the second method is via fractional distillation of petroleum.

Storage and Distribution

Cyclohexane has a specific gravity of 0.78 and a flashpoint of -20° C and is highly flammable.  It should be stored in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area which is free from the risk of ignition.  For transportation purposes, it is classified as hazard class 3 and packing group II and is should be labelled as an irritant, and harmful if swallowed or inhaled.

Uses

Cyclohexane is used predominately in the nylon industry where approximately 90% of it is consumed in the industrial production of adipic acid and caprolactam, which are themselves used to generate nylon6 and nylon6.6.  The remaining 10% is used both as a solvent for paints, resins, varnish and oil, and as a plasticiser.  Cyclohexane can also be used as an intermediate in the manufacture of other industrial chemicals such as cyclohexanone and nitrocyclohexanone.