Catalytic Performance of Aluminum Incorporated MCM-41 for Synthesis of Diphenylmethane Derivatives from Formaldehyde and Phenol, 2,6-Dimethylphenol, or Aniline

Tsuyoshi Kugita, Suman K. Jana, Daisuke Agari, Shigekazu Hirose, and Seitaro Namba. Department of Materials, Teikyo University of Science & Technology, Uenohara, Yamanashi, 409-0193, Japan

Bisphenol F [bis(dihydroxylphenyl)methane isomers], bis(4-hydroxyl-3,5-dimethylphenyl)methane, and methlenedianiline [bis(aminophenyl)methane isomers] are practically synthesized by using homogeneous acid catalysts. Therefore there is an urgent need to explore the use of heterogeneous acid catalysts having a high catalytic activity for the industrially demanding their synthesis processes both on environmental and economic grounds. Al incorporated MCM-41 catalysts have not strong acid sites. However they exhibit high catalytic activities for syntheses of bisphenol F, bis(4-hydroxyl-3,5-dimethylphenyl)methane, and methlenedianiline, because the reactivity of formaldehyde is high enough to react on weak acid sites and MCM-41 materials have large surface areas and wide pores. Moreover they can be re-usable by the regeneration.