459161 Double Bond Isomerization of 1-Butene Using Supported AlBr3 Catalysts

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Swarom Kanitkar1, Nitin Kumar1 and James J. Spivey2, (1)Chemical Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, (2)Cain Department of Chemical Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA

Isomerization of olefins is an important process in the chemical industry that is known to be catalyzed by acids and bases [1], [2]. When supported on slightly acidic supports like alumina or silica, strong Lewis acids like aluminum halides form both Lewis and Brønsted acid sites. In particular, reports have shown that supported AlCl3 approaches what is known as superacid strength [3, 4], which even can isomerize alkanes like n-butane [5]. AlBris another strong Lewis acid that, in principle, can be supported on the same supports like silica and alumina, producing solid acid catalysts.

Here, we present the synthesis of supported AlBr3 catalysts using various supports like silica, alumina and mesoporous silicas (MCM-41, SBA-15), and its potential use for double bond isomerization of 1-butene. Although the complete isomerization was expected, results show that only double bond isomerization was observed even at 100 oC. This we believe could have been due to the formation of weak Brønsted acid sites instead of the expected, strong Brønsted acid sites. At 100 oC, pyridine DRIFTS qualitatively shows that there are far more Brønsted acid sites than Lewis acid sites. Loading of the active material (AlBr3), type of support, and strength of acid sites affected the conversion of 1-butene.

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5. Fuentes, G.A., J.V. Boegel, and B.C. Gates, n-butane isomerization catalyzed by supported aluminum chloride. Journal of Catalysis, 1982. 78(2): p. 436-444.

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