Reaction kinetics and pathways for phytol in high-temperature water

Shujauddin Changi, Tylisha M. Brown, Phillip E. Savage

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43 Scopus citations


We examined the behavior of phytol, an acyclic diterpene C 20-alcohol and a model compound for algal biomass, in high-temperature water (HTW) at 513K, 543K, 573K, and 623K. Under these conditions, the major products include neophytadiene, isophytol, and phytone. The minor products include pristene, phytene, phytane, and dihydrophytol. Neophytadiene likely forms via dehydration of phytol, while isophytol can be obtained via an allylic rearrangement. We have quantified the molar yields of each product at the four temperatures, and the carbon recovery was greater than 90% for most cases. Phytol disappearance follows first order kinetics with an activation energy of 145±20kJ/mol and pre-exponential factor of 10 9.94±0.12s -1. Delplot analysis discriminated between primary and non-primary products and led to a potential set of reaction pathways. A kinetics model based on the proposed pathways was consistent with the experimental data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-345
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - May 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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