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J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2005 Apr;5(4):542-9.

Nanoporous reactor with tunable selectivity on alkylation of ethylbenzene.

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International Center for Young Scientists, National Institute for Materials Science, 1-1 Namiki, Tsukuba 305-0044, Japan.


As nanoporous reactor, mesoporous silicates containing aluminum acidic site with n(Si)/n(Al) ratio up to 7 (AISBA-15) were prepared through a simple one-pot synthesis, which was recently developed by parts of us. The obtained materials were satisfactorily characterized by XRD and nitrogen adsorption/desorption and have regularly arranged hexagonal structures with pore diameters in the 9.6-11.8-nm range. The density and strength of the acid sites were determined using temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) of pyridine and controlled distribution between weak, moderate, and strong acid sites was demonstrated. The alkylation of ethylbenzene in a fixed-bed flow-type reactor using the AISBA-15 nanoporous reactor was carried out under various conditions such as temperature, feed ratio, flow rate, and time on stream. Interestingly, perfect regioselectivity between the m-isomer and the o-/p-isomers of diethylbenzene was achieved, where 100% selectivity of the m-isomer or the o-/p-isomers can be obtained by simply tuning the reaction temperature by using AISBA-15 catalyst with appropriate aluminum content.

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