2011 Volume 84 Issue 11 Pages 1283-1290
The isopropylation of aromatic hydrocarbons isobutylbenzene (IBB), naphthalene (NP), and biphenyl (BP) was examined over H-mordenite (MOR), H-β (BEA), and H-Y (FAU) zeolites in supercritical carbon dioxide (sc-CO2) medium. MOR was only selective for the formation of the least bulky 4-isobutylcumene (4-IBC) in the isopropylation of IBB. In particular, the catalytic activity and selectivity for 4-IBC were enhanced by the dealumination of MOR; MOR with 110 of SiO2/Al2O3 ratio rendered the highest performance; however, the catalytic activity was decreased by further dealumination. Thermogravimetric analyses confirmed the reduction of coke formation on the catalysts in sc-CO2 medium, preventing the deactivation of MOR. Shape-selective formation of the least bulky isomers, 2,6-diisopropylnaphthalene (2,6-DIPN) and 4,4′-diisopropylbiphenyl (4,4′-DIPB), was also observed in the isopropylation of NP and BP over MOR in sc-CO2. sc-CO2 works as an efficient medium to access and/or replace substrates and their products to/from acidic sites in the MOR channels. In particular, the removal of coke precursors from acidic sites on the zeolite is enhanced by the sc-CO2 medium, resulting in decreased coke formation.
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