Acid Catalysis in CO2-Enriched High-Temperature Water

Project: Research project

Project Details


Water and carbon dioxide, in either liquid or supercritical phases, are widely regarded as

environmentally benign media for organic chemical reactions. Significant effort has been

devoted to developing useful chemistries in these solvents as a means of pollution prevention. All of this previous work has used either water or carbon dioxide separately. The proposed research involves the use of mixtures of these two compounds as the reaction medium for acid-catalyzed, organic chemical reactions. Water will be the main component in the system. Experiments with different acid-catalyzed reactions (e.g., phenol alkylation, alcohol dehydration, etc.) will be performed, and the effects of the composition of the reaction medium, the system density, temperature, reactant concentrations, and reaction time on reactant conversion and product yields will be determined. In terms of the broader impacts, acid-catalyzed reactions are used widely in the chemical industry. It has been estimated that the number of commercially important acid-catalyzed reactions exceeds the number of all other catalytic reactions combined. Therefore, advances that make acid-catalysis more environmentally benign could have a broad impact throughout the chemical industry. The practice of incorporating examples from the research in graduate and undergraduate class will be continued. The results from this research project will provide the reaction kinetics and mechanistic insights, information that is needed to assess the technical, economic, and environmental feasibility of doing acid catalysis in carbon dioxide-enriched high temperature water.

Effective start/end date8/15/027/31/08


  • National Science Foundation: $269,952.00


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