471727 Lewis Acid Zeolite Catalysts for Tandem Diels-Alder Cycloaddition and Dehydration of Dimethylfuran and Ethylene to Renewable p-Xylene

Wednesday, November 16, 2016: 4:35 PM
Imperial B (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Hong Je Cho1, Chun-Chih Chang1, Jingye Yu2, Raymond J. Gorte2, Paul J. Dauenhauer3 and Wei Fan4, (1)Chemical Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, (2)Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, (3)Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, (4)Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA

Recently, increasing demand for energy and commodity chemicals has led to accelerated research efforts in the conversion of renewable resource into chemicals and fuels for a sustainable economy. The processing of lignocellulosic biomass, an inexpensive, abundant and sustainable source of carbon, offers the promise of sustainable chemicals and carbon-neutral liquid transportation fuels. Lewis acid catalysts play an important role for selectively activating functional groups of the organic molecules involved in biomass conversion.

In this study,1 Lewis acid zeolites including Zr-, Sn-, and Ti-BEA were examined for tandem [4 + 2] Diels–Alder cycloaddition of 2,5-dimethylfuran (DMF) and ethylene to form cycloadduct, which is further dehydrated to produce biorenewable p-xylene. p-Xylene is currently produced from petroleum processing, which serves as a precursor for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) polymers (e.g. PET bottle). Zr-BEA (Si/Zr = 168) offered superior performance with improved recalcitrance to deactivation, because of its low activity for the DMF oligomerization.2 Zr-BEA also achieved the highest selectivity to p-xylene of 80% at 99% conversion of DMF. In the case of low catalyst loading, the reaction rate of p-xylene production was linearly proportional to the number of Lewis acid sites, whereas high catalyst loading was independent of Lewis acid sites. These findings were similar to the behaviors of Brønsted acid zeolite catalysts.


  1. C.-C. Chang, H. J. Cho, J. Yu, R. J. Gorte, J. Gulbinski, P. Dauenhauer and W. Fan, Green Chem., 2016, 18, 1368

  2. J. Yu, S. Zhu, P. Dauenhauer, H. J. Cho, W. Fan and R. J. Gorte, Catal. Sci. Technol., 2016, DOI: 10.1039/C6CY00501B

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