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Ortho-Selective Phenol Methylation Over Iron-Magnesium Oxide Catalysts

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Alkylation of phenol to ORTHO-cresol and 2,6-xylenol with methanol in the presence of iron and iron-magnesium oxide catalysts was investigated. The catalysts displayed high activity and stability. Addition of magnesium oxide to the iron catalyst increases its selectivity towards C-alkylation in ortho-position. It was found that the active phase in the investigated catalysts is highly dispersed magnetite or mixed spinel of Fe(MgFe)O4 type. It is noticed that if Fe+2 ions are replaced by Mg+2 ions in the spinel the basicity of the bifunctional catalyst is augmented, increasing ortho-selectivity of alkylation.

Affiliations: 1: W. Trzebiatowski Institute of Low Temperature and Structure Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, P.O.Box 937, PL-90-950 WROCLAW 2, POLAND


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