Cyclohexanone is the organic compound with the formula (CH2)5CO. The molecule consists of six-carbon cyclic molecule with a ketone functional group. This colourless oil has an odour reminiscent of that of acetone. Over time, samples of cyclohexanone assume a yellow colour. Cyclohexanone is slightly soluble in water and miscible with common organic solvents. Billions of kilograms are produced annually, mainly as a precursor to nylon.
The great majority of cyclohexanone is consumed in the production of precursors to Nylon 6,6 and Nylon 6. About half of the world’s supply is converted to adipic acid, one of two precursors for nylon 6,6. For this application, the KA oil (see above) is oxidized with nitric acid. The other half of the cyclohexanone supply is converted to cyclohexanone oxime. In the presence of sulfuric acid catalyst, the oxime rearranges to caprolactam, a precursor to nylon 6