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Explaining the influence of the introduced base sites into alkali oxide modified CsX towards side-chain alkylation of toluene with methanol

Li, Peidong, Han, Qiao, Zhang, Xiaomin, Yuan, Yangyang, Zhang, Yanfei, Xu, Li, Guo, Hongchen, Xu, Lei
RSC advances 2019 v.9 no.23 pp. 13234-13242
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, alkylation, carbon dioxide, catalysts, dehydrogenation, ethylbenzene, formaldehyde, hydrogen, methanol, oxygen, styrene, toluene, zeolites
The effect of the introduced base sites in CsX with alkali oxide modification towards side-chain alkylation of toluene with methanol was systematically investigated in the present work. A series of alkali oxide modified CsX with a base properties (base strength and amount) gradient were prepared by impregnating CsX with alkali metal hydroxide. Here, CsX with different base strengths were selected as the parent zeolite, which is favorable to clarify the different types of base site in the modified CsX. The base properties of the samples were elucidated based on the CO₂-TPD results as well as with characterization by XPS and FT-IR of adsorbed CO₂. It was revealed that the base strength of the oxygen atoms with negative charge (Oᵟ⁻) in the zeolite framework can be strengthened by the electron donating function of the alkali oxides in the supercage of CsX. Detailed analysis of the correlation between the reaction behaviors of side-chain alkylation reaction and the base properties of the indicated catalysts was carried out. It was found that the dehydrogenation of methanol to formaldehyde step was promoted by the increasing base properties of Oᵟ⁻ in the CsX framework and that was the main reason for the promotion of the whole side-chain alkylation reaction. However, it was also found that the stronger base properties of the alkali oxide modified CsX would enhance the formation of active hydrogen atoms, which aggravated the unwanted styrene conversion to ethylbenzene.