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Three step synthesis of benzylacetone and 4-(4-methoxyphenyl)butan-2-one in flow using micropacked bed reactors

Waldron, Conor, Cao, Enhong, Cattaneo, Stefano, Brett, Gemma L., Miedziak, Peter J., Wu, Gaowei, Meenakshisundaram, Sankar ORCID:, Hutchings, Graham J. ORCID: and Gavriilidis, Asterios 2019. Three step synthesis of benzylacetone and 4-(4-methoxyphenyl)butan-2-one in flow using micropacked bed reactors. Chemical Engineering Journal 377 , 119976. 10.1016/j.cej.2018.09.137

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The synthesis of benzylacetone from benzyl alcohol and of 4-(4-methoxyphenyl)butan-2-one from 4-methoxybenzyl alcohol, which were previously performed in a batch cascade, were successfully performed in a telescoped flow system consisting of three micropacked bed reactors and a tube-in-tube membrane to remove oxygen. The system consisted of approximately 10 mg of 1 wt% AuPd/TiO2 catalyst for oxidation, 150-250 mg of anatase TiO2 for C-C coupling and 10 mg of 1 wt% Pt/TiO2 for reduction, operating at 115 °C, 130 °C and 120 °C respectively. Oxygen and hydrogen flowrates were 2 and 1.5 NmL/min and alcohol solution inlet flowrates were 10-80 µL/min, while the system operated at a back pressure of 5 barg. This system achieved significantly increased yields of benzylacetone compared to the batch cascade (56% compared to 8%) and slightly increased yields of 4-(4-methoxyphenyl)butan-2-one (48% compared to 41% when using the same catalyst supports). The major advantage of the telescoped flow system was the ability to separate the three reactions, so that each reaction could have its own catalyst and operating conditions, which led to significant process intensification.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1385-8947
Funders: EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 October 2018
Date of Acceptance: 17 September 2018
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2023 06:20

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