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Catalytic alkylation of phenol with methanol over zinc aluminate

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Two samples (A and B) of zinc aluminate spinel were prepared and used as catalysts of phenol methylation. Both catalysts were synthesised at hydrothermal conditions from zinc acetate and from various aluminium precursors: aluminium isopropoxide (catalyst A) or basic aluminium nitrate (catalyst B). Catalyst A was pure ZnAl2O4 and B - besides ZnAl2O4 contained traces of γ-Al2O3. Reactions of phenol alkylation with methanol were carried out in the gas phase under atmospheric pressure in a standard flow reactor with fixed bed. Catalysts indicated different properties in dependence on the aluminium precursor used during preparation. In the presence of catalyst A higher selectivity of ortho-methylation of phenol was obtained. Catalyst B was active both in O-alkylation and C-alkylation.

Affiliations: 1: W.Trzebiatowski Institute of Low Temperature and Structure Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, 50-950 Wrocław 2, P.O. Box 1410, Poland; 2: Technical University of Wrocław, Institute of Chemistry and Technology of Petroleum and Coal, 50-344 Wrocław, Gdańska St. 7/9, Poland


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