alkylbenzene production, linear, UPR, ecoinvent 3.6, Undefined

ISIC4 categories:
C:Manufacturing/20:Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products/202:Manufacture of other chemical products/2023:Manufacture of soap and detergents, cleaning and polishing preparations, perfumes and toilet preparations
Reference year: 1995 - 2020

Location: CA-QC - Canada, Québec
This dataset represents the production of 1 kg of liquid linear alkylbenzene (LAB). Usually, LAB are liquid at room temperature - having a melting point in the area of -50 °C and a boiling point in the area of 170°C. LAB is the most common raw material for the production of detergents. LAB is almost entirely used for the production of LAS (linear alkylate sulfonates), the worldwide most important synthetic surfactant.
The material and energy data are based on the ECOSOL study of the European Surfactant Industry, as well as estimations based on industrial data. The process emissions are based on estimations. The water exchanges are approximated based on data from a large chemical factory (Gendorf 2016).
Kocal J. A., Vora B. V. and Imai T. (2001) Production of linear alkylbenzenes. In: Applied Catalysis A: General, 221, pp. 295 - 301.
SRI International (2003) Abstract of the CEH report 'Linear and Branched Alkylbenzenes'. Online document. Download of Mai 14, 2003 from
UOP LLC (2001) UOP Linear Alkylbenzene (LAB) complex. UOP, Des Plaines, USA, Online-Version under:
Gendorf (2016) Umwelterklärung 2015, Werk Gendorf Industriepark,
Undefined unit processes (UPRs) are the unlinked, multi-product activity datasets that form the basis for all of the system models available in the ecoinvent database. This is the way the datasets are obtained and entered into the database by the data providers. These activity datasets are useful for investigating the environmental impacts of a specific activity (gate-to-gate), without regard to its upstream or downstream impacts.


Several different production routes for the production of linear alkylbenzene can be distinguished:
- Chlorination of paraffins to monochloroparaffin and subsequent alkylation with benzene. As catalyst aluminium chloride is used within this reaction.
- Production of olefins (e.g. by chlorination of paraffins followed by dehydrochlorination, by wax cracking, by ethylene oligomerization etc.). These olefins are in a second step alkylated with benzene in the presence of hydrofluoric acid as catalyst.
- Dehydrogenation of linear paraffins to a mixture of linear olefins and subsequent alkylation with benzene. As catalyst again hydrofluoric acid is used within this reaction.
The last of the different mentioned production ways is by far the most important one. In 2000 this production route accounted for almost 90% of the worldwide LAB production. For this study here, only the latter process route is therefore taken into account and the dataset here represents LAB produced by dehydrogenation and subsequent HF catalysed alkylation.
A simply summary for the reaction is as follows:
n-Paraffin + Benzene + HF -> LAB + HF
Kocal J. A., Vora B. V. and Imai T. (2001) Production of linear alkylbenzenes. In: Applied Catalysis A: General, 221, pp. 295 - 301.
Althaus H.-J., Chudacoff M., Hischier R., Jungbluth N., Osses M. and Primas A. (2007) Life Cycle Inventories of Chemicals. ecoinvent report No. 8, v2.0. EMPA Dübendorf, Swiss Centre for Life Cycle Inventories, Dübendorf, CH.

Process type
Supported nomenclature
ecoinvent 3.6
LCI modeling approach
Before modeling
Multifunctional modeling
Aggregation type
Data provider
Review status
For sale

ecoinvent EULA