Synthesis of 4,4'-dimethylbiphenyl through shape-selective methylation of 4-methylbiphenyl with methanol

Xin Wen Guo, Xiang Sheng Wang, Jian Ping Shen, Lu Sun, Chun Shan Song

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MgO modified and hydrothermally treated HZSM-5 catalysts were prepared and characterized with XRD, TPD and N2 physical adsorption. Alkylation of 4-methylbiphenyl (4-MBP) with methanol to prepare 4,4'-dimethylbiphenyl (4,4'-DMBP) was carried out over the prepared catalyst samples under fixed-bed down-flow reaction conditions. The results showed that both the MgO-modified and hydrothermally treated HZSM-5 catalysts significantly improved the selectivity of 4,4'-DMBP (up to 80% over Mg-CBV or 70% over HT-500 vs. only 13% over the parent HZSM-5). The hydrothermally treated HZSM-5 followed HC1 leaching improved the activity stability. After 1000 min reaction, the 4-MBP conversion was about 8%, and the selectivity of 4,4'-DMBP was about 65%. An obvious decrease of the catalyst acidity was observed either modified by MgO or by hydrothermal treatment, however, the surface area of the microspores of the former decreased and that of the mesopores of the later increased as examined by low temperature nitrogen adsorption. The high selectivity over ZSM-5 modified with MgO largely resulted from the depression of the secondary reactions of 4,4'-DMBP such as isomerization, dealkylation and alkylation, as demonstrated by the reaction of 4,4'-DMBP with methanol as the reactants over MgO/HZSM-5 and the parent zeolite as the catalyst. While over hydrothermal treated catalysts, the high selectivity was originated from the depression of isomerization and dealkylation of 4,4'-DMBP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-11
Number of pages6
JournalShiyou Xuebao, Shiyou Jiagong/Acta Petrolei Sinica (Petroleum Processing Section)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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