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Alkali promoted rare earth metal phosphates for vapour phase O-alkylation of α- and β-naphthols with methanol

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The vapor-phase catalytic O-alkylation of α- and β-naphthols with methanol has been investigated over lanthanum, cerium, samarium, and antimony phosphate catalysts promoted with cesium hydroxide. Among various catalysts investigated, the Cs-SmPO4 combination catalyst provided better catalytic activity and selectivity. The CsOH promoter suppressed formation of C-alkylated side products and enhanced the O-alkylation selectivity. Characterization of these catalysts by X-ray diffraction and FT-infrared techniques revealed that the cesium promoter has no influence on the bulk structure of the catalysts. Temperature programmed desorption of anhydrous ammonia over promoted and unpromoted catalysts revealed that the cesium promoter decreases total surface acidity of the catalysts.


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